Skip to main content

Full text of "The life of His Royal Highness the Prince consort"

See other formats


LIBRARY 

OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA. 


Class 


THE   LIFE 

OF 

HIS     ROYAL     HIGHNESS 

THE   PRINCE   CONSORT 


VOL.  III. 


question,  they  contain  so  rich  a  profusion  of  materials  of  the 
highest  value,  that  the  embarrassment  of  selection  has  been 
not  the  least  of  the  difficulties  which  I  have  had  to  encounter 
in  the  execution  of  my  task.  They  furnish,  moreover,  a 
triumphant  vindication  of  the  Prince  from  the  obloquy  and 
misrepresentation  which  during-  the  same  period  he  was  com 
pelled  to  undergo  in  silence.  I  could  not,  therefore,  reconcile 
it  to  ray  duty  as  his  biographer  to  withhold  the  evidence 
of  the  part,  so  valuable  to  Your  Majesty,  and  therefore  to 
England,  which  he  played  during  the  great  struggle  of  the 
Crimean  War. 

In  doing  this,  I  can  scarcely  hope  to  have  escaped  the  risk 
of  being  charged  with  passing  upon  occasion  from  the  sphere 
of  the  biographer  into  that  of  the  historian.  But,  in  truth, 
the  Prince's  life  being,  as  it  was,  engrossed  with  the  great 
events  of  a  time  which  has  already  become  historical,  this 
was  a  risk  which  must  perforce  be  run  by  his  biographer, 
however  much  he  might  feel  himself  fettered  by  the  proximity 
of  the  events,  and  by  a  proper  regard  for  the  feelings  of  such 
actors  upon  the  political  stage  as  may  still  survive,  or  of  the 
representatives  of  those  who  have  passed  away. 

In  any  case,  I  trust  it  will  be  as  clear  to  all  who  may 
read  this  volume,  as  it  is  to  myself,  that  in  all  the  Prince's 
dealings  with  men,  and  with  the  questions  great  and  small, 
on  which  his  unsleeping  spirit  was  evermore  employed, 
to  be  just, — to  be  considerate, — to  look  beyond  'the  igno 
rant  present '  into  '  the  seeds  of  time,' — to  hold  at  bay 
the  passions  and  prejudices,  by  which  judgment  is  clouded, 
and  action  turned  awry,  was  the  condition  of  mind  to  which 
he  never  ceased  to  aspire.  And  surely  it  is  not  unimportant, 
at  a  time  when  the  Eastern  Question  has  again  forced  itself 
upon  the  consideration  of  Europe,  that  the  opinions  should  be 
made  known  of  one,  to  whom  the  welfare,  not  of  Your  Majesty's 
kingdom  only,  but  of  mankind,  was  so  vitally  dear, — of  one, 


whose  political  sagacity  was  leant  upon,  as  this  volume  will 
show,  by  some  of  the  greatest  and  most  experienced  states 
men  of  his  age. 

I  cannot  conclude  without  again  expressing  my  gratitude 
to  Your  Majesty  for  the  unreserve  with  which  the  Prince's 
papers  have  been  placed  at  my  disposal,  and  for  the  absolute 
freedom  with  which  I  have  been  allowed  to  record  within 
these  pages  my  own  impressions  from  the  facts  arid  opinions 
of  which  they  form  a  marvellous  record.  Remembering  that 
truth  and  sincerity  were  the  twin  lodestars  of  the  Prince's 
life,  —  that  it  would  therefore  have  been  his  wish  to  be  spoken 
of  simply  as  he  was,  —  I  have  striven  to  prove  myself  worthy 
of  the  confidence  reposed  in  me  in  the  only  way  that  I  am 
sure  would  be  agreeable  to  Your  Majesty,  by  using  in  all  sin 
cerity  the  knowledge  of  his  opinions  and  actions  which  it  has 
been  my  privilege  to  obtain.  The  painter  is  no  master  of 
his  craft,  who  will  not  place  upon  his  canvas  the  flaws  and 
blemishes  that  are  as  much  a  part  of  a  face  as  its  finest 
features.  Had  I  found  such  in  the  subject  of  my  picture,  I 
should  not  have  feared  to  find  a  place  for  them  in  it.  My 
difficulty  has  been,  that  in  all  my  researches  I  have  come 
upon  no  such  defect  as  would  have  furnished  that  relief  of 
shadow,  which  would  have  made  the  portrait,  if  not  more 
impressive  in  itself,  yet  more  acceptable  to  many  who  are 
reluctant  to  believe  in  the  highest  order  of  human  worth. 

I  have  the  honour  to  be, 

MADAM, 

Your  Majesty's  very  devoted 
Subject  and  Servant, 

THEODORE  MARTIN. 


BKYNTYSILIO,  NEAR 

llth  October,  1877. 


CONTENTS 


THE     THIRD     VOLUME. 


CHAPTER  LI. 
1854. 

PAGE 

R  faction  in  Public  Mind  in  favour  of  the  Prince — War  in  the  East  in 
evitable — Correspondence  between  the  Emperor  of  the  French  and 
tlu-  Emperor  of  Russia — Intrigues  at  Vienna  and  Berlin — Memo 
randum  by  Prince  on  State  of  Europe  ......  1 


CHAPTER  LII. 

18-34 — continued. 

The  Eastern  Question — State  of  Public  Opinion  in  England  as  to  .Russian 
Policy  in  the  East— Could  War  have  been  avoided  ? — English  Govern 
ment  wisely  slow  to  declare  it,  when  forced  upon  them — Ultimatum 
sent  to  Russia  by  France  and  England- — War  declared — Departure  of 
Troops  for  Malta 


CHAPTER  LIII. 

1 854 — continued. 

Sailing  of  the  Baltic  Fleet — Dinner  to  Admiral  Sir  Charles  Napier — 
Russian  Influence  at  Court  of  Berlin-— Letter  by  King  of  Prussia  to 
Queen  Victoria — Her  Majesty's  Reply — Publication  of  Sir  Hamilton 
Seymour's  Conversations  with  the  Emperor  Nicholas— Their  Effect 
upon  Europe — Russian  Intrigues  in  Greece — Suppression  of  Rising 
there  by  French  and  English  Troops — Reasons  by  Prince,  in  Letter 
I  o  the  King  of  the  Belgians,  why  England  went  to  war  .  .  . 


x  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  LIY. 

1854 — continued. 

Day  of  Humiliation — Letters  by  Queen  as  to  Prayers  to  be  used — 
Prussia's  policy  of  Pseudo-Neutrality  condemned  by  the  Prince — His 
speech  at  Bicentenary  Jubilee  Festival  of  .Sons  of  the  Clergy — 
Launch  of  Royal  Albert — Multifarious  occupations  of  the  Prince — 
His  Speech  at  Trinity  House  Dinner — Successful  defence  of  Silistria 
by  the  Turks— Austria  occupies  the  Danubian  Principalities— Re 
markable  Speech  on  the  War  by  Lord  Lyndhurst — -Reply  by  Lord 
Aberdeen  causes  general  Dissatisfaction — Is  explained  by  him — Ex 
pedition  to  Sebastopol  decided  on— Prince's  Sketch  of  Plan  for  In 
vasion  of  the  Crimea 


CHAPTER   LV. 

1854 — continued. 

Emperor  of  the  French  invites  the  Prince  to  visit  him  at  Boulogne — 
"Want  of  Cohesion  in  the  Cabinet — Good  Influence  of  Lord  Aberdeen — 
Prorogation  of  Parliament — Correspondence  between  King  of  Prussia 
and  the  Prince — The  Prince  visits  the  French  Emperor  and  the  Camps 
at  Boulogne  and  St.  Omer — His  Letters  to  the  Queen  .  .  <S7 


CHAPTER  LVI. 

1854 — continued. 

Memorandum  by  the  Prince  upon  his  Visit  to  the  Emperor  of  the  French 
and  his  Conversations  with  him — Impression  produced  on  the  Em 
peror  by  the  Prince— Letter  by  M.  Van  de  Weyer  .  .  .  I'.'S 

CHAPTER  LVII. 

1854  — con  t  in  ucd. 

Court  at  Balmoral — Battle  of  the  Alma — Cabinet  Difficulties— Disap 
pointment  with  Baltic  Fleet — Admiral  Napier's  Disputes  with  Sir 
James  Graham— Letters  by  Queen  and  Prince  on  the  War- 
Strong  feeling  in  England  as  to  Conduct  of  Prussia— Letters  by  the 
Prince  to  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia  and  to  the  King  of  the  Bel 
gians—Battle  of  Balaclava — Prince  writes  to  Lord  Aberdeen  as  to 
how  the  Army  is  to  be  reinforced — Lord  Raglan  calls  for  Reinforce 
ments  ]-(> 


CONTENTS.  xi 

CHAPTER  LVIII. 

1854-1855. 

PAGK 

Alarm  created  by  Accounts  of  the  Battle  of  Inkermann — Queen's  Letter 
to  Lady  Cathcart — Letters  from  the  Camp  with  Accounts  of  the 
Battle — Wounded  killed  by  Russians— Remonstrances — Negotiations 
with  Austria — The  Four  Points — Memorandum  by  the  Prince  upon 
the  Causes  and  Objects  of  the  War  with  reference  to  the  Four  Points — 
<»reat  Storm  in  the  Crimea — Prince's  plans  for  Reinforcements — 
Efforts  for  Relief  of  the  Army  before  Sebastopol  .  .  .  .151 

CHAPTER  LIX. 

1855 — continued. 

Fine  Spirit  in  the  Army — Patriotic  Fund  established — Miss  Florence 
Nightingale — The  Hospitals  at  Scutari — Sufferings  of  Army — Due  to 
Defects  of  our  Military  System — Suggestions  by  Prince  for  Weekly 
Reports  from  Army — His  Views  of  the  Causes  of  the  Break -down  of 
the  Military  Arrangements — He  draws  up  Memorandum  on  Army 
Organisation,  which  is  submitted  to  the  Government  .  .  .172 

CHAPTER  LX. 

1 855 — continued. 

Unpopularity  of  the  Aberdeen  Ministry — Meeting  of  Parliament — Mr. 
Roebuck's  Notice  of  Motion — Lord  John  Russell  resigns — Mr.  Roe 
buck's  Motion  carried — Ministry  resigns — Protracted  Ministerial 
Crisis — Failure  of  Lord  John  Russell  to  form  a  Ministry — Lord 
Palmerston  entrusted  with  Formation  of  a  Ministry — Succeeds — Mr. 
Roebuck's  Committee  of  Inquiry — Peelites  leave  Lord  Palmerston's 
Cabinet  ............  193 

CHAPTER  LXI. 

1855 — continued. 

Improved  State  of  Army  before  Sebastopol — Mr.  Roebuck's  Committee — 
Memorandum  by  Prince  of  Conversation  with  the  Duke  of  Newcastle 
as  to  Extraordinary  Suspicions  entertained  by  Mr.  Roebuck  and  others 
against  the  Prince— Remedial  Measures  for  the  Army — Lord  John 
Russell  goes  as  Plenipotentiary  to  Vienna — Death  of  Emperor 
Nicholas — Letter  by  the  Queen  on  Hospitals  for  the  Wounded  — 
/Emperor  Napoleon  resolves  to  goto  the  Crimea — Consequent  Dismay 
— Lord  Clarendon  visits  him  at  Boulogne — Report  of  Conference 
there  .  .  214 


xii  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  LXI1. 

1 855 — continued. 

PACK 

Visit  of  the  Emperor  and  Empress  of  the  French  to  the  Queen        .         .     2.'W 

CHAPTER  LXIII. 

1 855 — contin  ued. 

Conference  at  Vienna — Its  Failure — Compromising  Assent  to  Austrian 
Proposals  by  Lord  John  Russell  and  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys — Prince 
defends  Rejection  of  Austrian  Proposals  in  Letter  to  the  King  of  the 
Belgians — Necessity  of  European  Concert  for  Settlement  of  Eastern 
Question— Memorandum  by  Prince  on  the  Subject — Russian  Losses 
in  Crimea— Distribution  of  Medals  by  the  Queen  to  Invalids  from 
the  Crimea L'fiO 

CHAPTER  LXIV. 

1855 — continued. 

General  Canrobert  is  succeeded  by  General  Pelissier — Successful  Expe 
dition  of  the  Allied  Forces  to  Kertch — Its  important  Results — Move 
ments  of  Peace  Party  in  England — Atfacks  on  Ministry — Conferences 
at  Vienna  closed — Action  taken  by  Peelite  Members  of  Lord  Aber- 
•  deen's  Cabinet — Letter  to  Lord  Aberdeen  by  the  Prince — Success  of 
the  Ministry  in  Parliament — Remarkable  Speech  by  the  Prince  at 
Trinity  House  Dinner — How  received 278 

CHAPTER  LXV. 

1855 — continued. 

Lord  Raglan  dies — Queen's  Letter  to  Lady  Raglan — In  consequence  of 
Explanations  called  for  by  Mr.  Milner  Gibson,  Lord  John  Russell 
retires  from  Office — Violent  Discussions  in  Parliament — War  Policy 
strongly  supported  by  the  Country — Bombardment  of  Sweaborg — 
Battle  of  the  Tschernaja— Anticipations  in  Paris  of  Visit  by  Queen 
and  Prince  ,  302 


CONTENTS.  xiii 

CHAPTER  LXVI. 

1855 — continued. 

PAGE 

Visit  of  the  Queen  and  Prince  to  the  Emperor  of  the  French    .         .         .318 

CHAPTER  LXVII. 

1855 — continued. 

Letters  by  the  Prince  on  the  subject  of  the  French  Visit — Court  at 
Balmoral — Arrival  of  News  of  Fall  of  Sebastopol  -State  of  Allied 
Armies  in  the  Crimea — Letter  on  the  Subject  by  the  Duke  of  New 
castle  from  the  Camp — Letters  by  Prince — Complaints  that  the  Fall 
of  Sebastopol  has  not  been  followed  by  Advance  of  the  Allied  Armies 
-  -Betrothal  of  the  Princess  Eoyal  and  Prince  Frederick  William  of 
Prussia— Attack  in  The  Times  upon  the  Alliance  ....  352 


CHAPTER  LXVIII. 

1855 — continued. 

Strong  feeling  in  England  in  favour  of  continuing  the  War,  not  shared 
by  France — Sir  W.  Codrington  appointed  Commander-in-Chief — Plan 
by  Prince  for  future  Command  of  the  Army  adopted  by  the  Govern- 
v/ment — Withdrawal  of  French  Troops  from  the  Crimea— Letter  by  the 
Prince  to  Prince  Frederick  William — Illness  of  the  Queen's  Half- 
Brother — Prince's  Address  to  Birmingham  and  Midland  Institute — 
Proposals  for  Peace  suggested  by  Austria— Correspondence  on  the 
Subject  between  the  Emperor  of  the  French  and  Queen  Victoria  .  377 


CHAPTER  LXIX. 

1855 — continued. 

Visit  of  King  of  Sardinia  to  England— Prince's  Address  to  the  German 
Legion  at  Shorncliffe — Intrigues  at  Paris  against  the  English  Al 
liance — Loyalty  of  the  Emperor  of  the  French  —The  Austrian  Con 
cordat  with  the  Vatican — The  Guards'  Memorial  to  the  Queen — Attack 
upon  the  Prince  for  having  signed  it— Letter  by  the  Prince  to  King 
Leopold  on  the  Position  of  England  with  reference  to  the  War,  and 
the  Ultimatum  proposed  to  be  sent  by  Austria  to  Russia — Excellent 
condition  of  English  Army  in  the  Crimea — Austrian  Ultimatum 
accepted  by  Russia— Views  of  the  Prince  as  to  the  Political  Situation  403 


xiv  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  LXX, 

18.56. 

PAGK 

Letter  by  Queen  to  Lord  Clarendon  on  his  mother's  death — Peace  Confer 
ences  to  be  held  in  Paris — Debates  in  Parliament  on  the  Address  — 
Life-Peerages — Ministerial  Defeat  —Letter  by  Queen  to  Emperor  of 
the  French — Lord  Clarendon  in  Paris :  Interviews  with  Emperor — 
State  of  French  opinion  as  to  the  War — Baron  Bmnnow  and  Count 
Orloff — Prussia  seeks  to  be  admitted  to  Peace  Conferences — Prince 
writes  to  King  Leopold  on  the  Subject 480 


CHAPTER  LXXI. 

1856 — continued. 

Appointment  of  Military  Commission  to  sit  at  Chelsea  Hospital— Stormy 
Debate  in  House  of  Commons — General  Sir  De  Lacy  Evans — Russian 
Policy — Idees  Napoleoniennes — Progress  of  Peace  Negotiations — Diffi 
culties — Question  as  to  future  Disposal  of  the  Danubian  Principalities 
— Birth  of  Prince  Imperial—  Confirmation  of  Princess  Royal — Treaty 
of  Peace  concluded  —  Correspondence  between  Queen  and  Lord 
Clarendon — Letter  by  Queen  to  Emperor  of  the  French  .  ,  .  452 


CHAPTER  LXXII. 

1 856 — con  tinned* 

Conferences  of  Lord  Clarendon  with  Emperor  of  the  French — Reply  by 
Emperor  to  Queen  Victoria — Order  of  the  Garter  conferred  on  Lord 
Palmerston— Queen's  Letter  to  him — His  Reply — Condition  of  Allied 
Armies  in  the  Crimea — Queen  and  Prince  visit  Military  Hospitals 
and  Camp  at  Aldershot— Great  Naval  Review  at  Spithead — Letters 
by  Prince  to  Baron  Stockmar — Prince  on  Army  Peace  Establishment — 
Debates  in  Parliament  on  Treaty  of  Peace — Return  of  Lord  Dalhousie 
from  India — He  is  written  to  by  the  Queen — Foundation  Stone  of 
Netley  Hospital  laid  by  the  Queen — Difficulty  with  America — Acci 
dent  to  the  Princess  Royal — Stockmar's  Alarm  ....  47<5 


L'ONTKNTX.  xv 

CHAPTER   LXXIJL 

1 856 — continued. 

PAGE 

Keview  at  Aldershot— Speech  by  the  Queen— Lord  Hardinge  taken  ill 
during  Interview  with  Queen  and  Prince — Kesigns — Letter  to  him  by 
the  Queen — Visit  of  Prince  and  Princess  of  Prussia — Court  at  Bal 
moral — Miss  Florence  Nightingale  there— Correspondence  of  Prince 
with  Baron  Stockmar — Difficulties  with  Eussia  as  to  carrying  out 
Terms  of  Peace — -The  Neuchatel  Question — Threatened  War  between 
Switzerland  and  Prussia — France  and  England  withdraw  their  Am- 
bassadors  from  Naples — Court  returns  to  Windsor  Castle — Death  of 
Prince  Lciniitgen,  the  Queen's  half-brother — United  States  present 
the  Resolute  to  the  Queen — Discussion  and  final  settlement  of  Bessa- 
rabian  Frontier — Correspondence  between  the  Queen  and  Emperor 
of  the  French  .  497 


VOL.  III. 


ILLUSTEATION. 

PORTRAIT  OF  HEK  ROYAL  HIGHNESS  THE  LUCHESS  OF  KENT, 
AFTER  A  PICTURE  BY  WlNTEUHALTER,  IN  THE  POSSESSION 
OF  THE  QUEEN To  face  Title 


THE     LIFE 


OF    HIS    ROYAL    HIGHNESS 


THE    PRINCE    CONSOET 


CHAPTER   LI. 

IT  was  well  for  the  Prince's  peace  of  mind,  no  less  than  for 
his  reputation,  that  the  calumnies  of  his  detractors  were 
pushed  so  far  as  to  compel  the  public  notice  which  was  taken 
of  them  in  Parliament,  as  mentioned  in  the  preceding- 
chapter.  What  had  occurred  was  only  a  fresh  illustration  of 
the  old  truth,  that  slander  is  only  dangerous  so  long  as  it  is 
confined  to  sinuous  by-paths  and  vague  innuendoes.  Those 
who  attacked  the  Prince,  either  from  malice,  or  recklessness, 
or  political  animosity,  must  have  been  mortified  to  see  that, 
meaning  to  injure,  they  had  in  fact  done  him  signal  good. 
His  past  services  to  the  country,  as  the  bosom-counsellor  of 
the  Sovereign,  were  made  clear,  and  no  challenge  was  thence 
forth  likely  to  be  put  forward  of  his  right  to  bring  the  daily 
growing  treasures  of  his  thought  and  experience  to  the  aid  of 
the  Sovereign  and  her  responsible  advisers.  '  Fortunately,' 
as  Lord  Aberdeen  wrote  to  the  Prince  (3rd  February,  1854) 
'  the  whole  edifice  of  falsehood  and  misrepresentation  is  com 
pletely  overthrown,  and  we  may  trust  that  a  great  reaction 
will  now  take  place,  in  full  proportion  to  the  measure  of 
calumny  and  injustice  which  has  prevailed.  They  will  always 

YOL.  III.  B 


*V   THE  PRINCE.  1854 

remain,  however,  as  a  signal  example  of  popular  delusion, 
and,  although  we  consider  ourselves  to  be  an  enlightened 
people,  I  know  no  greater  instance  of  stupid  credulity  than 
has  been  exhibited  in  the  disgraceful  proceedings  of  the  last 
few  weeks.' 

No  man  bore  calumny  better  than  the  Prince.  He  regarded 
it,  we  have  seen,  as  inseparable  from  his  position;  and, 
happily,  lie  was  able  to  say,  with  all  the  sincerity  of  one  who, 
besides  being  modest  by  nature,  was  habitually  stern  in  his 
j  udgment  of  himself,  '  Nothing  has  been  brought  against 
me  which  is  not  absolutely  untrue'  (ante,  vol.  ii.  561). 
Nevertheless  the  pain  occasioned  to  the  Prince,  and  perhaps 
even  more  to  the  Queen,  by  these  persistent  and  well-studied 
calumnies  was  very  great.  In  proportion  to  the  value  they 
both  set  upon  the  good- will  and  esteem  of  the  nation,  was 
the  grief  expressed  by  the  Queen,  in  a  letter  already  quoted 
(ante,  ii.  541),  '  that  any  portion  of  her  subjects  should  thus 
requite  the  unceasing  labours  of  the  Prince  '  for  the  welfare 
and  honour  of  England.  There  are  few  of  us  who  can  recall 
without  a  pang  what  we  have  suffered,  to  find  ourselves 
misunderstood  by  those  who,  we  have  thought,  must  know  us 
best — suffered  not  in  the  moral  shock  only,  but  in  the  angry 
soreness  of  wounded  affection.  Then  it  was,  that  we  have  felt 
the  full  force  of  Coleridge's  beautiful  saying,  '  That  to  be 
wroth  with  those  we  love  doth  work  like  madness  in  the 
brain.'  But  if  this  be  so,  how  much  stronger  must  the  feeling 
be,  where  the  love  that  is  wounded  is  no  mere  personal  feeling, 
narrow  at  the  best,  but  the  yearning  regard  of  the  Sovereign 
for  the  people  whom  she  loves, — the  people,  on  the  fulness  of 
whose  trust  she  can  alone  rely  to  take  the  sting  from  the 
misrepresentations  to  which  a  monarch  will  always  be  ex 
posed,  but  which,  by  the  necessity  of  her  position,  she  must 
bear  in  silence.  The  shafts  aimed  at  the  Prince,  the  Queen 
could  not  but  feel  were  aimed  at  herself*  But  the  sense  of 


1 854  REACTION.  3 

personal  injury  was  swallowed  up  in  indignation  at  the  wrong 
done  to  one  whom  she  knew,  as  no  one  else  could  know,  to  be 
the  very  soul  of  goodness  and  truth,  of  honour,  and  of 
devotion  to  the  kingdom,  over  which  she  was  strengthened 
to  reign  by  his  wise  and  loving  help.  What  wonder,  then,  if 
she,  who  had  felt  the  wrong  so  deeply,  was  no  less  deeply 
moved  by  the  desire  now  everywhere  shown  to  obliterate  the 
painful  impressions  of  the  last  few  weeks  by  a  general 
acknowledgment  of  the  Prince's  position,  and  of  the  pru 
dence  and  sagacity  with  which  he  had  used  it.  '  That  black 
time,'  Her  Majesty  writes  to  Baron  Stockmar  (15th  April, 
1 854), '  when  foul  calumny  strove  to  blind  our  deluded  people, 
vanished  from  the  hour  Parliament  spoke  of  it ;  and  this 
serves  to  show  how  it  was  got  up,  and  how  little  it  had  taken 
root ! ' 

Had  it  been  otherwise,  the  strain  upon  both  the  Queen 
and  Prince  would  have  been  intolerable.  They  now  saw 
close  before  them  the  prospect  of  a  great  war,  which,  what 
ever  its  issue  or  duration,  must  put  to  proof  the  utmost 
resources  of  the  country,  and  all  the  energy  ai\d  endurance 
of  its  people.  The  thought  of  this  struggle  and  all  that  it 
involved — a  thought  that  day  and  night  was  weighing  on 
their  hearts — would  have  been  too  hard  to  bear,  had  any 
shadow  been  left  of  the  distrust  which  had  been  attempted 
to  be  sown  between  the  people  and  themselves.  Instead  of 
this,  however,  the  spirit  of  mutual  reliance  which  had  grown 
up  between  the  Crown  and  the  nation  during  the  present 
reign,  so  far  from  being  shaken  by  the  attacks  on  the  Prince, 
had  been  strengthened  by  the  frank  explanations  for  which 
they  had  given  occasion.  Each  knew  the  other  better  than 
before,  and  with  this  knowledge  in  their  hearts  could  confront 
with  a  calmer  courage  the  difficulties  and  dangers  of  the 
impending  struggle. 

In  a  supreme  degree,  too,  the  Queen  and  Prince  were  able 

B  2 


4  HOME  HAPPINESS.  1854 

to  find  strength  in  the  love  which  is  the  best  restorative  for 
the  weariness  and  the  heartache  of  all  mortal  life.  '  Trials 
we  must  have  ;  but  what  are  they  if  we  are  together  ! '  On 
the  same  day,  the  anniversary  of  her  marriage,  on  which,  as 
we  have  seen  (ante,  vol.  ii.  565)  the  Queen's  heart  over 
flowed  in  these  simple  words — simple,  yet  how  eloquent  !— 
their  children  had  prepared  for  them  one  of  those  graceful 
surprises,  with  which  their  affection  never  failed  to  mark  its 
periodical  recurrence.  The  Baron  and  Baroness  Bunsen  were 
among  the  guests  at  Windsor  upon  the  occasion,  and  to  this 
happy  accident  we  owe  the  following  graceful  report  by  the 
Baroness  of  the  '  Masque '  which  the  Royal  children  had 
devised  for  the  occasion  : — 

1  We  followed  the  Queen  and  Prince  Albert  a  long  way, 
through  one  large  room  after  another,  till  we  came  to  one, 
where  hung  a  red  curtain,  which  was  presently  drawn  aside,  for 
a  representation  of  the  Four  Seasons,  studied  and  contrived  by 
the  Royal  children  as  a  surprise  to  the  Queen,  in  celebration  of 
the  day.  First  appeared  Princess  Alice  as  the  Spring,  scatter, 
ing  flowers,  and  reciting  verses,  which  were  taken  from 
Thomson's  Seasons ;  she  moved  gracefully  and  spoke  in  a 
distinct  and  pleasing  manner  with  excellent  modulation,  and  a 
tone  of  voice  sweet  and  penetrating  like  that  of  the  Queen. 
Then  the  curtain  was  drawn,  and  the  scene  changed,  and  the 
Princess  Royal  represented  Summer,  with  Prince  Arthur 
stretched  upon  the  sheaves,  as  if  tired  with  the  heat  and  harvest- 
work  ;  another  change,  and  Prince  Alfred,  with  a  crown  of  vine 
leaves  and  the  skin  of  a  panther,  represented  Autumn — looking 
very  well.  Then  followed  a  change  to  a  winter  landscape,  and 
the  Prince  of  Wales  represented  Winter,  with  a  cloak  covered 
with  icicles  (or  what  seemed  such),  and  the  Princess  Louise,  a 
charming  little  muffled-up  figure,  busy  keeping  up  a  fire  ;  the 
Prince  reciting  (as  all  had  done)  passages  more  or  less  modified 
from  Thomson.  Then  followed  the  last  change,  when  all  the 
Seasons  were  grouped  together,  and  far  behind,  on  a  height, 
appeared  Princess  Helena,  with  a  long  white  veil  hanging  on 
both  sides  down  to  her  feet,  holding  a  long  cross,  and  pronounc- 


1 854  V/AR  INEVITABLE.  5 

ing  a  blessing  upon  the  Queen  and  Prince.  .  These  verses  were 
composed  for  the  occasion.  I  understood  them  to  say,  that  Saint 
Helena,  remembering  her  own  British  extraction,  came  to  pro 
nounce  a  benediction  upon  the  rulers  of  the  country  ;  and  I 
think  it  must  have  been  so  intended,  because  Helena,  the  mother 
of  Constantino  (said  to  have  discovered  the  remains  of  the  Cross 
which  bore  the  Saviour),  was  a  native  of  Britain,  and  she  is 
always  represented  leaning  upon  a  large  cross.  But  your  father 
understood  that  Britannia  was  intended  as  blessing  the  Royal 
pair.  In  either  view  of  the  subject,  the  Princess  Helena  looked 
very  charming.  This  was  the  close  ;  but,  by  command  of  the 
Queen,  the  curtain  was  again  withdrawn,  and  we  saw  the  whole 
Royal  Family  together,  who  came  down  severally  from  their 
raised  platform  ;  also  the  baby,  Prince  Leopold,  was  carried  in  by 
his  nurse,  and  looked  at  us  all  with  big  eyes,  stretching  out  his 
arms  to  be  taken  by  the  Prince  Consort.' — (BunserCs  Life,  ii. 
328.) 

Although  the  Queen's  Speech  in  opening  Parliament  (30th 
January)  had  spoken  of  the  persistent  efforts  being  still 
continued,  which  Her  Majesty  hud  made,  in  conjunction  with 
her  allies,  to  preserve  and  restore  peace  between  Russia  and 
Turkey,  these  words  inspired  little  confidence  even  in  the 
minds  of  those  who  clung  to  the  hope  that  war  might  still 
be  averted,  coupled  as  they  were  with  the  intimation  in  the 
same  sentence,  that  she  had  thought  it  '  requisite  to  make  a 
further  augmentation  of  her  naval  and  military  forces,  with 
the  view  of  supporting  her  representations,  and  of  more 
effectually  contributing  to  the  restoration  of  peace.'  Diplo 
macy  indeed  might  still  be  busy.  Russia,  on  the  one  hand, 
might  not  yet  have  despaired  of  detaching  France  from  the 
English  alliance,  and  of  inducing  Austria  and  Prussia  to  with 
draw  the  pressure  which,  in  concert  with  the  Western  Powers, 
they  had  hitherto  been  exerting  to  induce  the  Emperor 
Nicholas  to  recall  Lis  troops  from  the  Principalities. 
England,  on  the  other  hand,  had  yet  to  assure  herself  that 
France  had  one  common  object  with  herself  in  embarking  on 


6  FRENCH  EMPEROR'S  LETTER  1854 

the  defence  of  Turkey,  and  might  be  relied  on  to  bear  her 
full  share  of  the  burden  of  this  defence,  till  that  object  was 
attained.  But  from  the  moment  that  the  combined  fleets  of 
France  and  England  entered  the  Black  Sea,  with  the  avowed 
purpose  of  shutting  up  the  Russian  fleet  in  Sebastopol,  the 
hope  of  a  peaceful  adjustment  of  the  disputes  between  Russia 
and  Turkey  was  at  an  end.  Our  Ambassador  at  St.  Petersburg 
might  indeed  represent  that  our  ships  had  been  sent  there 
for  the  protection  of  the  Turkish  territory  and  the  Turkish 
flag  only.  But  was  it  to  be  thought  that  a  power  like  Russia, 
which  had  been  accustomed  to  strike,  where  she  could  and 
when  she  could,  against  all  who  ventured  to  resist  her  im 
perious  dictates,  would  admit  the  distinction  between  the 
defiant  defence  of  an  adversary  with  whom  she  was  at  war, 
and  actual  warfare  against  herself?  l 

Up  to  this  time,  however,  and  indeed  for  some  time 
afterwards,  a  war  with  Russia  was  far  from  popular  in  France,2 
Of  this  fact  the  Emperor  of  the  French  was  necessarily  well 
aware,  and  he  may  be  presumed  to  have  been  much  influenced 
by  it  in  the  final  attempt  which  he  made  at  the  end  of 
January  to  persuade  the  Czar  to  withdraw  from  the  false 
position  in  which  he  had  placed  himself  by  his  occupation  of 
the  Principalities.  In  an  autograph  letter  (29th  January) 
he  laid  before  the  Czar  his  view  of  the  state  of  the  question 
in  terms  which,  little  likely  as  they  were  to  be  acceptable  at 
St.  Petersburg,  could  not  be  regarded  as  otherwise  than  mode 
rate.  If  the  two  Maritime  Powers,  he  urged,  had  sent  their 
squadrons  to  the  Bosphorus,  it  was  because  Turkey,  threatened 

1  It  was  accordingly  denounced  in  a  letter  by  Count  Nesselrode  to  Baron 
Brunnow  (16th  January)  as  '  an  act  of  flagrant  hostility.'     '  As  for  ourselves, 
he  added,  'it  is  impossible  for  us  to  look  upon  such  a  resolution  in  any  other 
light  than  as  a  violence  offered  to  our  belligerent  rights.' 

2  Writing  to  Sir  James  Graham  from  Paris  (24th  January,  18.54),  Sir  John 
Burgoyne  says  :  '  I  was  much  surprised  to  hear  that  a  war  with  Russia  on  the 
present  question  was  very  unpopular  in  France.     This  must  be  very  embarrass 
ing  to  the  Emperor.' 


1 854  TO    THE  EMPEROR  NICHOLAS.  7 

in  her  independence,  her  provinces  seized  as  a  material 
guarantee  for  the  fulfilment  of  a  treaty  which  she  had  not 
broken,  had  claimed  a  support  to  which,  by  the  justice  of  her 
cause,  as  affirmed  by  the  combined  voice  of  Austria,  Prussia, 
England,  and  France,  she  was  entitled.  Up  to  the  day  when 
the  Turkish  fleet, '  riding  quietly  at  anchor  in  a  Turkish  port,' 
had  been  destroyed,  '  in  spite  of  the  assurance  that  there  was 
no  wish  to  commence  an  aggressive  war,  and  in  spite  of  the 
vicinity  of  our  squadrons,'  the  Western  Powers  had  main 
tained  a  passive  attitude.  'After  that  event,'  the  letter 
continued,  '  it  was  no  longer  our  policy  which  received  a 
check,  it  was  our  military  honour.  .  .  .  The  sound  of  the 
cannon-shot  at  Sinope  reverberated  painfully  in  the  hearts  of 
all  those  who  in  England  and  in  France  respect  national 
dignity.  All  shared  in  the  sentiment  that,  wherever  our 
cannon  can  reach,  our  allies  ought  to  be  respected.  Out  of 
this  feeling  arose  the  order  given  to  our  squadrons  to  enter 
the  Black  Sea  and  to  prevent,  by  force  if  necessary,  the 
recurrence  of  a  similar  event.'  But  a  bitterer  sting  was 
delivered  in  the  words  that  followed,  which  reminded  the 
Czar  that  his  new  policy  of  '  material  guarantees '  could  be 
effectively  turned  against  himself.  In  prohibiting  the  navi 
gation  of  the  Russian  fleet  upon  the  Black  Sea,  he  was  told, 
the  Maritime  Powers  had  acted  upon  the  conviction,  that  it 
was  'important  during  the  war  to  preserve  a  guarantee 
equivalent  in  force  to  the  occupation  of  the  Turkish  terri 
tory,  and  thus  facilitate  the  conclusion  of  peace  by  having 
the  power  of  making  a  desirable  exchange,' 

After  this  preface  the  Emperor  of  the  French  must  have 
been  singularly  credulous  if,  as  he  goes  on  to  say,  he  felt 
assured  the  Czar  would  take  a  pacific  course  in  the  alterna 
tive  presented  to  his  choice  of  either  a  definitive  under 
standing  with  the  Western  Powers  or  a  decided  rupture. 
However  this  may  be,  it  is  professedly  under  this  conviction 


STATE   OF  FEELING  IN  RUSSIA.  1854 

that  he  proposed,  that  the  combined  fleets  should  leave 
the  Black  Sea,  the  Eussians  at  the  same  time  evacuating 
the  Principalities,  and  that  Turkish  and  Eussian  pleni 
potentiaries  should  negotiate  a  Convention,  which  should 
then  be  submitted  to  the  Conference  of  the  Four  Powers  in 
Vienna. 

When  this  letter  was  submitted  to  our  Government  for 
approval,  Lord  Clarendon,  although  he  could  scarcely  approve 
of  the  suggestion  that  Eussia  and  Turkey  alone  should  at 
this  stage  negotiate  a  Convention,  felt  it  the  less  necessary  to 
raise  any  objection,  because  he  foresaw  very  clearly  that 
nothing  could  possibly  come  of  such  an  appeal.  The  infor 
mation  which  had  reached  him  from  our  Ambassador  at  St. 
Petersburg,  as  to  the  state  of  public  feeling  there,  made  it 
obvious  that,  even  if  the  Czar  had  been  disposed  to  make 
concessions,  the  angry  passions  which  he  had  evoked  in  his 
subjects  would  not  have  permitted  him  to  recede.  Writing  to 
Lord  Clarendon  on  the  2nd  of  January,  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour 
said  of  Count  Nesselrode  : — 

'  He  exerts  himself  in  the  cause  of  moderation,  and  except 
him,  and  in  a  less  degree  Count  Orloff  and  Count  Kisseleff,  I 
should  be  perplexed  to  name  any  Eussian,  whose  voice  is  raised 
in  the  same  sense.  It  is  to  this  very  circumstance,  that  is  to  be 
ascribed  the  remarkable  unpopularity  which  now  attaches  to 
Count  Nesselrode,  and  the  intrigues  which  are  set  on  foot 
against  him.  ...  I  hold  it  to  be  certain  that,  if  peace  still 
exists,  it  is  in  a  great  measure  attributable  to  the  Chancellor,  and 
that  the  Emperor  is  infinitely  more  moderate  than  the  immense 
bulk  of  his  subjects.  This  fact  does  not  exculpate  His  Majesty 
from  having  lent  himself  to  plans  which  have  led  to  this  state  of 
things.  I  long  since  stated  to  your  Lordship,  that  a  spirit  would 
be  evoked  by  the  Eussian  policy,  which  it  would  be  found  very 
difficult  to  lay  ;  but  now  that  the  spirit  has  come  forth,  so  far 
from  the  Emperor  being  amongst  those  most  eager  to  obey  its 
mandates,  it  is  already  very  apparent,  that  his  popularity  is  shaken 
by  the  resistance  which  he  opposes  to  public  opinion,  while,  as  for 


1 854  REPLY  OF  EMPEROR  NICHOLAS.  9 

the  Chancellor,  he  is  openly  spoken  of  as  an  alien,  a  traitor,  a 
man  bought  by  English  gold.  The  feeling  to  which  I  allude  is 
especially  acted  upon  by  the  rumours  which  are  in  circulation  of 
the  entrance  of  the  Allied  fleets  into  the  Black  Sea,  and  a  person 
of  my  acquaintance,  who  lives  almost  entirely  in  Russian  society, 
acquaints  me,  that  the  language  which  he  now  hears  around  him 
is,  that  Russia  will  be  humiliated,  and  that  the  Emperor  will  show 
that  he  has  lost  all  sense  of  dignity,  if  he  defers  marking  his  re 
sentment  by  sending  off  the  French  and  English  Ministers,  and 
by  declaring  war  upon  their  two  countries.' 

Surrounded  by  the  feeling  here  described,  chafed  by  the 
successful  resistance  to  his  troops  which  the  Turks  had  been 
able  hitherto  to  maintain,  and  stung  to  the  quick  by  being 
told,  as  he  had  been  for  the  first  time  by  the  French  Emperor's 
letter,  that  the  Western  Powers  had  determined  to  prohibit 
to  the  Russians  the  navigation  of  the  Black  Sea,  the  Czar's 
reply  could  be  of  only  one  tenor.  In  it  every  step  he  bad  taken 
was  justified.  France  and  England  were  taunted  with  weak 
ness  in  allowing  the  Porte  to  modify  the  Vienna  Note  after 
it  had  been  approved  by  themselves  and  accepted  by  Russia,3 
and  a  return  to  the  Russian  programme — in  other  words,  the 
adoption  of  the  construction  put  by  the  Czar  upon  the  Treaty 
of  Kainardji  as  to  the  Protectorate  of  the  Greek  Christians  in 
Turkey — was  announced  as  forming  the  only  opening  for 
friendly  discussion  and  a  possible  good  understanding.  '  What 
ever,'  the  letter  continued, '  your  Majesty  may  decide,  menaces 
will  not  induce  me  to  recede.  My  confidence  is  in  God  and 
in  my  right,  and  Russia,  as  I  can  guarantee,  will  prove  her- 

3  After  war  had  been  declared  by  the  Western  Powers,  this  argument  was 
again  addressed  in  an  official  declaration  published  in  the  Journal  de  St.- 
Petcrsbourg  (13th  of  April).  The  official  answer  in  the  Moniteur  on  this  head 
was  conclusive.  In  the  Vienna  Note,  it  bore,  'the  Powers  had  laid  down  prin 
ciples  which,  loyally  admitted,  might  then  have  solved  the  difference  ;  but  the 
commentary  which  that  Note  received  from  the  Count  de  Nesselrode  attested 
that  the  Russian  Cabinet  did  not  accept  them,  except  by  attaching  to  them  <i 
signification  very  different  from  the  idea  of  the  Conference  of  Vienna,  as  was 
admitted  by  all  the  Governments  represented  in  that  Conference.' 


io  EMPEROR   OF  RUSSIA'S   CONDITIONS.          1854 

self  in  1854  what  she  was  in  181 2.4  .  .  .  Let  your  fleet  limit 
itself  to  prevent  the  Turks  from  sending  additional  forces  to 
the  theatre  of  war.  I  willingly  promise  that  they  shall  have 
nothing  to  fear  from  my  attempts.  Let  them  send  a  nego 
tiator.  I  will  receive  him  in  a  suitable  manner.  My  condi 
tions  are  known  in  Vienna.  That  is  the  only  basis  on  which 
I  can  allow  discussion.' 

'  My  conditions  are  known  in  Vienna.'  Before  this  letter 
reached  its  destination  they  were  known  in  Paris  also,  and 
in  London,  and  known  moreover  to  be  utterly  inadmissible. 
Charged  with  these  conditions,  Count  Orloff  arrived  in  the 
Austrian  capital  on  the  28th  of  January  ;  and  after  a  few  days 
of  mysterious  reserve,  spent  in  trying  to  ascertain  the  probable 
attitude  of  Austria  in  the  event  of  war,  he  submitted  them  to 
the  Conference.  The  Protocol  of  the  13th  of  January,  em 
bodying  the  views  of  the  Conference  as  to  the  conditions  on 
which  peace  should  be  restored  between  Russia  and  Turkey, 
was  rejected,  and  a  new  set  of  conditions  was  proposed  as  the 
basis  for  negotiation.  The  conditions  were  substantially 
these  : — the  confirmation  of  all  existing  treaties  and  conven 
tions  between  Russia  and  the  Porte,  with  a  specific  recogni 
tion  in  the  sense  contended  for  by  Russia  of  her  Protectorate 
of  the  Greek  Christians,  which  was  the  origin  of  the  quarrel, 
and  an  engagement  by  Turkey  not  to  furnish  an  asylum  for 
political  refugees.  These  were,  in  fact,  a  considerable 
increase  upon  the  first  obnoxious  demands  by  Prince 
Menschikoff  (see  ante,  vol.  ii.  p.  510),  and  on  the  2nd  of 
February  they  were  declared  by  the  representatives  of  the 
Four  Powers  to  be  inadmissible,  and  such  as  ought  not  to  be 
submitted  to  the  Porte. 

4  Had  the  Emperor  of  Kussia  wished  to  turn  the  tide  of  feeling  in  France 
against  himself,  he  could  scarcely  have  chosen  any  means  more  likely  to  effect 
this  oLject  than  this  allusion  to  the  events  of  1812.  As  was  soon  apparent, 
it  changed  the  apathy  to  the  Eastern  Question  which  had  hitherto  prevailed  in 
France  into  eager  interest. 


1 854        INTRIGUES  AT   VIENNA   AND  BERLIN.  n 

A  further  disappointment  awaited  the  Czar  in  the  failure 
of  Count  Orloff  to  secure  a  promise  of  strict  neutrality  on 
the  part  of  Austria  in  the  event  of  a  war.  Pressed  by  the 
young  Emperor  to  say  if  he  was  prepared  to  pledge  his 
master  not  to  cross  the  Danube,  to  seek  no  acquisition  of 
territory,  and  to  evacuate  the  Principalities  when  the  war 
was  over,  Count  Orloff  replied  that  the  Czar  would  come 
under  no  such  engagement.  Then  must  Austria,  was  the 
Emperor's  rejoinder,  be  equally  free  to  act  as  her  interests 
and  dignity  might  direct.  Meanwhile,  she  would  continue 
to  be  guided  by  the  principles  which  she  had  adopted  in 
concert  with  the  other  three  Grreat  Powers.5 

While  these  things  were  passing  at  Vienna,  Baron  de 
Budberg,  who  had  been  engaged  on  behalf  of  Eussia  in  a 
similar  attempt  at  the  Court  of  Berlin,  had  met  with  no 
better  success.  The  King,  although  from  various  causes 
timidly  obsequious  to  his  brother-in-law  the  Czar,  and  much 
under  the  influence  of  a  Eussian  party,  which  was  then 
predominant  at  the  Prussian  Court,  was  kept  in  check — 
although  only  for  the  moment — by  the  firmness  of  his  Minister, 
Baron  Manteuffel,  and  refused  to  commit  himself  to  any  course 
of  action  inconsistent  with  the  principles  assented  to  by  his 
representative  at  the  Vienna  Conference.  But  while  he  con 
curred  in  the  fresh  Protocol  of  the  2nd  of  February,  which 
denned  the  views  of  the  Four  Powers  as  to  the  basis  for  a 
peaceful  settlement  of  the  differences  between  Eussia  and 
Turkey,  he  hung  back  resolutely  from  any  pledge  of  active 
interference  to  enforce  the  decision  at  which  the  Conference 
had  arrived.  As  Lord  Bloomfield.  our  Ambassador  at  Berlin, 

5  The  haughty  language  of  Count  Orloff,  and  the  air  of  tutelage  towards 
Austria,  which  was  implied  in  the  tender  of  guarantees  by  his  master  against 
whatever  consequences  might  result  to  Austria  from  adopting  the  line  of  strict 
neutrality,  contributed  to  the  failure  of  his  mission.  Austria  lost  no  time  in 
asserting  her  independence,  by  supporting,  through  her  Minister  at  St.  Peters 
burg,  the  Ultimatum  which  was  soon  afterwards  addressed  to  the  Emperor  of 
Russia  by  France  and  England. 


12  MEMORANDUM  BY  PRINCE  1854 

wrote  to  Lord  Clarendon  (28th  February),  'It  is  impossible 
to  make  these  people  understand  the  duties  and  responsi 
bilities  of  a  Great  Power,  and  their  chief  thought  in  this 
question  appears  to  be  the  chance  of  playing  a  great  card 
hereafter  in  Germany,  when  the  war  shall  have  lasted  a  few 
years.' 

Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  when  the  Prince,  in  accord 
ance  with  his  practice,  reduced  to  writing  his  survey  of  the 
political  position,  and  his  estimate  of  its  probable  develop 
ment,  in  the  following  Memorandum  : — 

'  8th  March,  185i. 

'  The  attitude  of  Austria  and  Prussia  in  regard  to  the 
Eastern  Question  is  naturally  of  the  utmost  importance  in 
its  bearing  upon  the  course  of  the  events  to  which  this 
question  is  certain  to  give  rise.  That  stage  of  the  question 
is  passed  in  which  a  peaceful  solution  was  still  conceivable. 
The  Emperor  has  himself  cut  off  the  possibility  of  drawing 
back,  and  is  bent  upon  war.  This  being  so,  every  proposal 
for  further  negotiations  can  only  be  regarded  by  the  Maritime 
Powers  as  having  for  their  object  to  deprive  them  of  the 
very  special  advantage  which  they  will  enjoy  from  the  out 
break  of  hostilities  before  the  ice  begins  to  break  up.  Such 
negotiations  will  therefore  be  desired  by  Kussia,  while  they 
will  not  be  tolerated  by  the  Allied  Powers,  being,  as  they  are, 
adverse  to  their  interests.  The  main  point  is  to  bring  the 
war  that  is  now  inevitable  to  a  close  with  all  possible  de 
spatch.  This  can  only  be  done  if  the  European  Powers  stick 
firmly  together.  Their  doing  so  will  give  at  the  same  time 
the  surest  guarantee  that  the  question  for  which  the  war  is 
undertaken  shall  not  degenerate  into  others  which  are 
fundamentally  alien  to  it. 

6  Whether  the  Turkish  Empire  as  such  will  be  able  to 
maintain  its  existence  or  not  is  not  the  question;  and  it 


1854  ON  STATE   OF  EUROPE.  13 

would  be  useless  to  seek  to  determine  this  problem  by 
anticipation.  But  it  is  quite  certain  that,  if  Europe  main 
tains  a  united  front  against  Russia,  the  solution  must  be  in 
accordance  with  European  interests,  because  it  makes  the 
realisation  of  the  schemes  of  Russia  impossible.  On  the 
other  hand,  it  is  said,  "  A  war  against  Russia  is  foolish,  for 
she  cannot  be  conquered  ! "  Russia,  no  doubt,  is  not  a 
country  to  be  conquered  in  the  sense  in  which  Napoleon  in 
1812  imagined  it  might  be;  but  it  is  not  therefore  in 
vincible,  as  people  there  and  in  Germany  say  it  is.  For  the 
vital  force  of  a  State  does  not  rest  in  an  unshattered  army 
and  in  the  maintenance  of  a  wide  expanse  of  territory,  but 
in  the  stability  and  abundance  of  its  material  resources,  and 
in  its  political  homogeneousness  and  commanding  position. 
Both  may  in  the  case  of  Russia  be  brought  into  extreme  peril. 
By  the  loss  of  her  western  frontier  territory  she  might 
even  be  reduced  to  a  purely  Sclavo- Asiatic  State,  which 
wo  aid  cease  to  play  an  important  part  in  the  Councils  of 
Europe. 

4  If  this  be  the  general  posture  of  affairs,  what  is  the 
position  which  Austria  and  Prussia  at  this  moment  occupy 
in  regard  to  them  ?  To  Austria,  Turkey  is  an  object  of 
paramount  interest,  inasmuch  as  it  is  of  moment  to  her  to 
shake  herself  free  of  Russia,  to  which  she  has  hitherto  been 
bound  by  her  dread  of  revolution.  She  fears  Russia,  she 
fears  revolution.  As  regards  the  latter,  she  could  not  pos 
sibly  desire  a  stronger  protection  than  that  which  is  offered 
to  her  by  the  alliance  with  the  liberal  Western  Powers, 
whose  separation  from  the  cause  of  revolution  she  insures  by 
this  alliance.  This  is  very  clearly  perceived  even  by  the 
Revolutionary  Committee,  Mazzini,  Kossuth,  &c.  Austria, 
while  she  does  not  trust  Prussia,  at  the  same  time  regards 
herself  as  not  strong  enough  without  Prussia,  but  still  she 
is  quite  alive  to  the  bearing  of  her  own  proper  policy. 


14  MEMORANDUM  BY  PRINCE  1854 

'Prussia — unhappy  country!  The  King  is  the  tool  of 
Kussian  dictation,  partly  from  fear  of  Russia,  partly  from  an 
absurdly  sentimental  feeling  for  the  Emperor  as  the  repre 
sentative  of  the  Holy  Alliance.  He  believes  himself  to  have 
shown  great  and  dignified  independence  in  declining  a 
Russian  alliance,  that  could  have  only  the  one  object  of 
drawing  Prussia  into  conflict  with  the  Western  Powers  in 
support  of  a  Russian  policy,  which  Prussia  had  joined  with 
the  three  Powers  in  declaring,  by  Protocol,  to  be  injurious 
and  dangerous  to  herself  and  to  Europe  !  Anyhow  the  King 
declines  all  co-operation  with  the  West. 

6  The  Court-party,  from  habit  partly,  and  partly  from 
self-interest,  is  servile  to  Russia,  worships  the  Emperor  as  the 
champion '  of  reaction,  sees  its  own  downfall  in  whatever 
weakens  him,  and  so  it  besieges  the  King  with  insinuations 
against  France  and  England,  with  apprehensions  of  Russian 
vengeance,  and  hypocritical  cant  about  Christian  duty  in  the 
East. 

'  The  Anti-Russian  patriotic  party  is  no  doubt  anxious  for 
war  against  Russia,  provided  it  be  waged  by  the  Western 
Powers  and  Austria,  but  it  has  no  wish  that  Prussia  herself 
shall  participate  in  the  danger.  Prussia  is  to  profit  by  the 
opportunity  the  war  will  give  her  of  stepping  in  as  Umpire, 
by  which  she  fancies  she  may  give  the  turn  to  the  European 
balance  at  some  decisive  moment,  and  snatch  for  herself  the 
reward,  which  she  will  think  she  has  deserved. 

( This  is  a  flagitious  policy,  and  assuredly  it  was  not  very 
wise  to  have  given  it  expression,  as  has  been  already  done. 
This  is  the  policy  of  1805,  which  led  to  the  disasters  of  1806. 
As  its  natural  consequence  Prussia  will  be  hated  by  all 
parties,  and  as  her  tortuous  views  are  already  proclaimed  in 
every  State  in  Europe,  the  feeling  is  sure  to  have  been 
roused,  that  it  will  be  well  to  be  beforehand  with  her.  If 
when  a  peace  is  arrived  at,  to  which  Prussia  has  in  no  way 


1854  ON  STATE   OF  EUROPE.  15 

contributed,  but  in  the  way  of  which  she  has  on  the  contrary' 
acted  as  a  stumbling-block,  she  should  then  set  up  claims, 
she  will  be  astounded  at   the  manner  in  which  they  will  be 
received. 

6  That  every  good  German  desires  the  consolidation,  per 
haps  the  aggrandisement,  of  Prussia,  is  intelligible;  but 
physical  expansion  is,  and  ought  to  be,  the  result  of  moral 
strength  and  struggle,  and  people  ought  to  see  that  the 
war  with  Kussia  would  offer  many  chances  to  attain  the 
desired  object  in  a  way  which  Europe  would  regard  as  con 
sonant  with  her  own  interests,  and  those  of  civilisation.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  policy  of  seeking  to  embarrass  Europe 
now,  in  order  to  tish  in  troubled  waters  later  on,  cannot  fail 
to  produce  the  opposite  effect. 

4  That  Prussia  should  not  permit  herself  to  be  used  blindly 
by  the  Western  Powers  as  a  mere  tool,  is  only  as  it  should 
be.  But  it  is  wholly  and  solely  the  fault  of  her  Govern 
ment,  if  she  does  not  obtain  from  Austria  and  the  Western 
Powers  treaties  and  guarantees,  which  would  smooth  the 
way  to  an  alliance,  such  as  could  not  fail  to  operate  to  her 
legitimate  advantage.' 


CHAPTER   LII. 

THE  advisers  of  the  Emperor  Nicholas — and  such  advisers,  it 
has  been  confidently  stated,  there  were — who  told  him  that  the 
fighting  days  of  England  were  over,  and  that  her  sons  cared 
too  much  for  money  and  their  own  ease  to  risk  either  in  an 
European  quarrel,  must  by  this  time  have  been  dismayed  to 
see  how  greatly  they  had  been  mistaken.  A  forty-years' 
peace  had  not  changed  the  character  of  the  people.  They 
were  far  too  confident,  indeed,  in  their  own  strength  to  be 
prone  to  take  offence ;  but  touched  on  a  point  of  honour, 
or  menaced  with  an  encroachment  on  their  possessions  or 
their  rights,  they  were  as  ready  as  of  yore  to  confront  the 
hazards  of  war  at  any  sacrifice  of  blood  and  treasure. 

The  part  which  Russia  had  played  in  helping  the  despotic 
Sovereigns  to  crush  the  recent  struggles  of  their  subjects  for 
constitutional  freedom  had  predisposed  the  British  people 
to  look  with  extreme  distrust  on  any  aggressive  advance 
which  she  might  make  in  the  East  of  Europe.  They  were, 
moreover,  impatient  at  the  idea  of  the  world  being  held  in 
awe  by  a  gigantic  power,  which  they  had  seen  imposing  its 
will  upon  countries  of  a  higher  civilisation  than  its  own,  and 
which  they  believed  to  be  the  great  barrier  to  the  advance 
ment  of  free  opinion  and  of  human  progress.  Little  as 
Englishmen  loved  the  Turks,  and  deeply  as  they  detested 
the  oppression  which  the  Porte  practised  towards  its  subjects, 
both  Mussulman  and  Christian,  they  remembered  too  well 
what  Russia  had  done  and  was  doing  elsewhere,  to  hear  with- 


1 854  THE  EASTERN  QUESTION.  17 

out  impatience  of  her  being  put  forward  as  the  champion  of 
humanity  arid  of  Christian  independence. 

In  those  days  the  great  body  of  Englishmen  had  not  ceased 
to  believe  that  Russia  had  designs  upon  Constantinople  ; 
and  to  these  designs  they  would  not  suffer  themselves  to  be 
blinded  by  mere  protestations  that  the  policy  of  Peter  the 
Great  and  Catherine  was  not  the  policy  of  their  successors, 
or  that  the  '  long-cherished  ambition  of  the  nation,'  as  it  was 
designated  by  Lord  John  Russell,  '  would  be  surrendered  even 
at  the  bidding  of  its  ruler.' l 

Common  men  might  not  be  able  to  estimate  all  the  dangers 
to  Europe  which  lurked  in  any  disturbance  of  its  territorial 
divisions,  but  there  were  few  who  could  not  appreciate  how  im 
portant  it  was  to  England,  that  the  entrance  to  the  Black  Sea 
should  continue  in  the  hands  of  a  neutral  and  friendly  Power, 
and  that  it  should  not  pass  into  the  possession  of  one  by 
whom  it  might  be  used  with  formidable  effect  for  the  purposes 
of  a  boundless  and  unscrupulous  ambition.  Even  Austria  and 
Prussia,  subservient  as  they  were  known  to  be  to  Russian 
influence,  had  concurred  with  the  Western  Powers  in  declar 
ing  that  the  maintenance  of  '  the  state  of  possession  in  the 
East  was  necessary  for  the  tranquillity  of  all  the  other  Powers,' 
and  that  '  the  existence  of  Turkey  within  the  limits  assigned 
to  her  by  treaty '  was  '  one  of  the  necessary  conditions  of 
the  balance  of  power  in  Europe  ; ' 2  but,  notwithstanding  this 
clear  expression  of  the  views  of  united  Europe,  Russia  con 
tinued  to  maintain  a  position  that  was  wholly  incompatible 
with  them.  The  Emperor  Nicholas  might  disclaim,  as  he 


1  In  his  Despatch  of  9th  February,  1853,  to  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour — Eastern 
Papers,  Part,  V.  p.  7-     It  will  bo  seen  from  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour's  report 
of  his  interview  with  the  Emperor  Nicholas,  in  which  this  Despatch  was  read 
and  discussed,  that  the  Emperor  was  compelled  to  admit  the  aptness  of  Lord 
John  Russell's  words — (Ibid.  p.  11.) 

2  Protocol  of  a  Conference  of  the  Representatives  of  the  Four  Powers  held  at 
Vienna,  5th  December,  1853. 

VOL.  III.  C 


1 8  PUBLIC  OPINION  IN  ENGLAND  1854 

did,  any  intention  to  assail  the  integrity  of  the  Ottoman 
Empire  ;  but  who  could  credit  this  assurance  when  in  the 
same  breath  he  declared  that  his  armies,  which  had  invaded 
Turkish  territory,  were  there,  and  would  remain  there,  to 
extort  concessions  which  would  transfer  from  the  Sultan  to 
himself  the  allegiance  of  twelve  millions  of  Turkish  subjects, 
and  place  at  his  mercy  the  future  independence  of  the 
Ottoman  Empire  ?  The  peace  of  Europe  had  been  lawlessly 
broken ;  an  immense  army  set  in  motion,  which,  whatever 
pretext  might  be  put  forward,  could  only  have  conquest  for 
its  object.  But  if  Turkey  were  struck  down  now,  who  could 
foretell  what  part  of  Europe  might  next  be  singled  out  for 
assault  ?  Too  long  had  the  Russian  autocrat  been  accustomed 
to  '  bestride  the  narrow  world  like  a  Colossus,'  and  throughout 
England  an  all  but  universal  feeling  had  grown  up,  that 
the  time  had  come,  in  our  own  immediate  interests,  no  less 
than  for  the  sake  of  the  future  welfare  of  the  world,  to  let  it 
be  seen,  that  we  at  least  were  not  content  to 

Walk  tinder  his  huge  legs,  and  peep  abont 
To  find  ourselves  dishonourable  graves, 

but  were  determined  to  resist  the  further  usurpations  of  an 
imperious  will,  and  to  vindicate  the  cause  of  right  against 
might,  although  in  doing  so  we  had  to  fight  for  a  dynasty, 
which  we  knew  to  be  corrupt,  and  all  but  despaired  of  seeing 
reformed. 

So  prevalent  was  this  feeling,  that  the  remonstrances  of 
Mr.  Cobden  and  Mr.  Bright,  who  represented  the  small  Peace 
party  in  this  country, 'were  listened  to  with  impatience,  not 
unmixed  with  indignation.  '  Turkey,'  said  Mr.  Cobden, 
speaking  at  Manchester  in  January,  '  is  a  decaying  country, 
and  the  Turks  cannot  be  permanently  maintained  as  a  ruling 
power  in  Europe.'  So  far  he  commanded  a  general  assent  ; 
but  when  he  went  on  to  contemplate  with  complacency  the 


1 854  AS   TO   RUSSIAN  POLICY.  19 

possession  of  Constantinople  by  the  Russians,  he  cut  himself 
adrift  from  the  sympathies  of  the  mass  of  his  fellow-country 
men.  '  If  Russia,'  he  continued,  '  obtained  Constantinople, 
she  must  cease  to  be  barbarous  before  she  could  become 
formidable  ;  and  if  she  made  a  great  navy,  it  must  be  by 
doing  as  the  Venetians,  the  Dutch,  the  English,  and  the 
Americans  did, — by  the  accumulation  of  wealth,  the  exercise 
of  industry,  and  the  superior  skill  and  intelligence  of  her 
artisans.'  Mr.  Bright  at  the  same  meeting  adopted  a  similar 
line  of  argument.  (  Turkey  is  a  decaying  nation,  Russia  an 
advancing  one  ;  Russia,  though  a  despotism  now,  will  not  be 
a  despotism  always.  We  had  a  despotism  once,  and  it  gave  us 
trouble  to  get  rid  of  it.  Russia  is  in  its  natural  progress 
from  a  bad  to  a  better  state.  If  we  had  not  interfered,  the 
difference  between  Russia  and  Turkey  would  have  been 
settled  long  before  this — settled  by  the  concessions  of 
Turkey.' 

No  eloquence  could,  however,  disguise  the  hollowness  of  ar 
guments  like  these.  If,  indeed,  Turkey  were  destined  to  fall, 
must  she  of  necessity  fall  into  the  hands  of  a  nation  admit 
tedly  barbarous — exchange  her  own  despotism  for  a  despotism 
more  absolute  and  relentless?  Was  the  Turkish  nation  to 
have  no  voice  to  say  by  whom  it  should  be  governed  ?  Must  it- 
submit  itself  to  the  Russians,  whom  it  avowedly  held  in 
abhorrence  ?  And  during  the  period — how  long  who  could 
say  ? — when  Russia  was  raising  herself  from  admitted  bar 
barism  to  a  merely  possible  civilisation,  what  might  not  be 
the  miseries  of  the  conquered  Turks,  what  the  turmoil  into 
which  Europe  might  be  thrown  by  '  barbarians,'  whose  means 
of  aggression  had  been  infinitely  augmented  by  the  posses 
sion  of  some  of  its  fairest  and  most  fertile  provinces  ?  With 
Russia  at  Constantinople  would  the  balance  of  Europe  be 
any  longer  the  same  ?  Above  all,  would  England's  position 
be  the  same,  or  could  that  position  be  maintained  except  at 

c  2 


20  LETTER  BY   THE  PRINCE  1854 

the  cost  of  vastly  augmented  armaments  both  by  land  and  sea  ? 
'  Concessions  by  Turkey  ? '  Had  Europe  no  interest  in  these 
concessions  ?  Was  it  of  no  moment  to  her,  that  Turkey  should 
be  asked  to  concede  terms  fatal  to  her  very  existence  as  a 
nation,  and  which  would  have  altered  the  political  situation 
of  the  civilised  world  ?  If  Turkey,  weak,  decrepid, '  dying,'  as 
she  was  said  to  be,3  refused  to  be  coerced,  was  it  not  the  duty 
of  England,  and  of  every  European  Power,  to  uphold  her  in 
the  struggle  for  independence?  With  such  obvious  consi 
derations  present  to  all  men's  minds,  the  great  leaders  of  the 
Manchester  School  found  their  influence  shaken,  even  among 
those  who  had  long  been  accustomed  to  accept  their  guidance 
with  implicit  faith. 

A  letter  of  the  Prince's  to  King  Leopold  depicts  so 
forcibly  what  was  thought  and  felt  by  England  in  entering 
upon  the  defence  of  Turkey,  that,  although  written  (20th 
July)  some  months  after  the  time  with  which  we  are  now 
dealing,  some  passages  of  it  will  not  be  out  of  place  here :  - 

'  We  supported  Russia,'  he  writes,  '  in  her  demands  at  Con 
stantinople,  until  it  became  clear,  that  she  was  bent  on 
annihilating  the  independence  of  the  Porte.  It  was  not 
from  mere  selfishness,  and  with  a  view  to  making  cat's-paws 
of  other  Powers,  but  in  order  to  avert  the  possibility  of  war, 
that  England  pressed  for  the  concert  Europeen.  Austria's 
and  Prussia's  faint-heartedness  arid  regard  for  the  Russians 
made  our  efforts  in  this  direction  fruitless.  Thereupon 
England  and  France  alone  took  upon  themselves  the  burden 
of  protecting  the  Porte.  It  is  quite  true,  that  our  stupid 
club-house  politicians  and  journalists  underrated  Russia's 
strength.  But  every  statesman  knew  how  heavy  was  the 
task  we  had  undertaken.  A  Military  European  concert 

3  So  far  back  as  1844  the  Emperor  Nicholas  Ind  said,  '  77  y  a  dans  man 
Cabinet  deux  opinions  sur  la  Turqule  :  Vune,  qiielle  est  mourante ;  Tautre  qu'elle 
tst  morte — la  derniere  est  la  mienne'1 — (See  Bunseris  Life,  vol.  ii.  p.  327.) 


1 854  TO  KING  LEOPOLD.  21 

might  even  now  bring  the  war  to  a  speedy  close,  restore 
peace,  and  put  the  Porte  under  proper  conditions.  But  if 
England  and  France  have  to  carry  on  the  war  single-handed 
with  Russia,  it  must  become  a  war  of  extermination ;  just  as, 
if  twenty  men  have  to  arrest  a  criminal,  it  is  a  simple  affair 
to  seize  and  bind  him  and  carry  him  off  to  prison  ;  whereas  if 
one  man  has  to  do  it,  he  does  so  at  the  risk  of  a  struggle  for 
life  and  death.  All  Europe,  Belgium  and  Germany  included, 
have  the  greatest  interest  in  the  integrity  and  independence 
of  the  Porte  being  secured  for  the  future,  but  a  still  greater, 
in  Russia  being  defeated  and  chastised.  For  it  is  to  weak 
States  above  all  others  of  importance  as  a  precedent,  that,  if  a 
strong  neighbour  seeks  to  oppress  them,  all  Europe  should 
come  to  their  aid,  and  repel  the  oppressor.  This  is  the  true 
state  of  the  case,  and  the  politicians  of  the  Continent  should 
not  be  misled  by  their  soreness  of  feeling  at  the  rough  and 
unmeasured  terms  in  which  it  has  been  expressed  by  the 
English  journals.  To  be  plain-spoken,  perhaps  not  over 
scrupulous,  is  their  vocation. 

4  Another  mistake  which  people  abroad  make,  is  to  ascribe 
to  England  a  policy  based  upon  material  interests  and  cold 
calculation.  Her  policy  is  one  of  pure  feeling,  and  therefore 
often  illogical.  The  government  is  a  popular  government, 
and  the  masses  upon  whom  it  rests  only  feel,  and  do  not 
think.  In  the  present  instance  their  feeling  is  something  of 
this  sort : 4  "  The  Emperor  of  Russia  is  a  tyrant,  the  enemy 
of  all  liberty  on  the  Continent,  the  oppressor  of  Poland.  He 
wanted  to  coerce  the  poor  Turk.  The  Turk  is  a  fine  fellow ; 
he  has  braved  the  rascal,  let  us  rush  to  his  assistance.  The 
Emperor  is  no  gentleman,  as  he  has  spoken  a  lie  to  our 
Queen.  Down  with  the  Emperor  of  Russia !  Napoleon  for 
ever !  He  is  the  nephew  of  his  uncle,  whom  we  defeated  at 

'  Down  to  this  point  the  letter  is  in  German.  The  dramatic  and  humorous 
instinct  of  the  Prince  then  carries  him  into  our  terse  British  vernacular. 


22  COULD    WAR    WITH  RUSSIA  1854 

Waterloo.  We  were  afraid  of  his  invading  us  ?  Quite  the 
contrary !  He  has  forgotten  all  that  is  past,  and  is  ready  to 
fight  with  us  for  the  glorious  cause  against  the  oppressor  of 
liberty.  He  may  have  played  the  French  some  tricks,  but 
they  are  an  unruly  set  and  don't  deserve  any  better.  D— - 
all  the  German  Princes  who  won't  go  with  us  against  the 
Russian,  because  they  think  they  want  him  to  keep  down 
their  own  people.  The  worst  of  them  is  the  King  of  Prussia, 
who  ought  to  know  better."  ' 

Loud,  however,  as  was  the  general  voice  for  war,  the 
Ministry  were  met  by  the  Opposition  with  the  reproach,  that, 
if  they  had  made  it  clear  from  the  first  that  they  would 
regard  as  a  casus  belli  any  invasion  by  Russia  of  the  Turkish 
provinces,  that  step  would  never  have  been  taken.  On  the 
first  night  of  the  Session  this  view  was  urged  with  great  vigour 
by  Lord  Derb}',  who  charged  them  with  having  misled  the 
Emperor  Nicholas  into  the  belief  that  England  would  under 
no  circumstances  oppose  with  arms  any  encroachments  by 
Russia  upon  Turkish  territory.  Russia,  lie  maintained,  had 
always  recoiled  from  aggression  when  she  was  boldly  met, 
and  she  would  have  done  so  now,  had  she  been  frankly  told, 
that  in  any  such  aggression  it  was  not  only  Turkey  she 
would  have  to  encounter,  but  the  combined  forces  of  England 
and  of  France  also.  Appealing  in  support  of  this  view  to  the 
past  history  of  Russian  policy,  he  said  :-— 

'  For  the  last  150  years  it  has  been  a  policy  of  gradual  aggres 
sion — not  a  policy  of  conquest,  but  of  aggression.  It  has  never 
proceeded  by  storm,  but  by  sap  and  mine.  The  first  process  has 
been  invariably  that  of  fomenting  discontent  and  dissatisfaction 
amongst  the  subjects  of  subordinate  States  — then  proffering 
mediation — then  offering  assistance  to  the  weaker  party — then 
declaring  the  independence  of  that  party — then  placing  that  inde 
pendence  under  the  protection  of  Russia ;  and,  finally,  from 
protection  proceeding  to  the  incorporation,  one  by  one,  of  those 
States  into  the  gigantic  body  of  the  Russian  Empire.  I  say 


1 854  HAVE  BEEN  AVERTED?  23 

nothing  of  Poland,  or  of  Livonia,  but  I  speak  of  Mingrelia, 
Imeritia,  and  the  countries  of  the  Caspian, — even  as  far  as  the 
boundary  of  the  Araxes  ;  and,  again,  the  Crimea  itself.  This 
has  been  the  one  course  which  Russia  has  invariably  pursued ; 
but  although  she  has  pursued  this  steady  course  for  150  years, 
8he  has  from  time  to  time  desisted  from  her  schemes  where  she 
has  found  they  met  with  opposition,  and  has  never  carried  any 
one  of  those  schemes  into  effect  where  she  has  been  certain  to 
meet  the  opposition  of  this  country.' 

But  the  argument  failed,  unless  it  could  be  shown  that 
the  Emperor  Nicholas  continued  to  regard  the  opposition 
of  this  country  with  the  same  apprehension  as  he  and  his 
predecessors  had  formerly  done.  But  who  could  answer  for 
this?  When,  at  any  former  period,  had  a  moment  presented 
itself  so  favourable  for  the  accomplishment  of  the  hereditary 
policy  of  Eussia  ?  The  Turkey,  which  he  had  regarded  as 
dead  in  1844,  no  doubt  still  showed  a  provoking  tenacity  of 
life,  but  so  little  able  was  the  Czar  to  conceal  his  impatience 
at  this  perversity,  that  writing  from  St.  Petersburg  (21st  Feb 
ruary,  1853)  to  Lord  John  Russell,  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour 
states  his  conviction,  that  he  '  must  have  settled  in  his  own 
mind  that  the  hour,  if  not  of  Turkey's  dissolution,  at  all  events 
for  its  dissolution,  must  be  at  hand.'  To  whom,  then,  in  this 
crisis,  could  she  look  for  aid  ?  To  Austria,  or  to  Prussia  ? 
These  Powers  the  Emperor  regarded  as  virtually  at  his  own 
disposal.5  To  France  ?  Her  he  was  prepared  to  defy,  if  she 
stood  alone,  and  if  she  were  inclined  to  resistance,  he  might 
hope  to  tempt  her  into  inaction  by  supporting  her  claims  else- 

5  This  is  clear  from  his  language  to  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour  :— '  I  and  the 
English  Government  having  entire  confidence  in  one  another's  views,  /  care 
nothing  about  the  rest.  When  I  speak  of  Itussia  I  speak  of  Austria  as  well ; 
\vhat  suits  the  one  suits  the  other  ;  our  interests  as  regards  Turkey  are  per 
fectly  identical.' — Eastern  Papers,  Part  V.  p.  10.  And  again  (Ibid.  p.  4) : — 
'  Je  desire  vous  parler  en  ami  et  en  gentleman  ;  si  nous  arrivons  a  nous  entendre 
xt'.r  cctte  affaire,  VAngltttrre  et  moi,  your  le  reste,  pen  iriimporte;  il  ni'tst  in 
different  ce  giie  font  ou  penscnt  les  autres.' 


24  WAR    OBVIOUSLY  PREDETERMINED  1854 

where.  England  was  certainly  formidable  ;  but  without  the 
aid  of  France — from  which,  under  its  new  dynasty  the  Czar 
mistakenly  supposed  that  she  had  become  estranged — even 
she  might  be  encountered ;  especially  if  a  march  could  be 
stolen  on  her  vigilance,  and  the  Eussian  forces  should  gain  a 
firm  hold  upon  Turkish  soil  before  she  was  in  a  position  to 
move.  Sincere  herself  in  disclaiming  any  purpose  of  selfish 
aggrandisement,  she  might  be  quieted  by  the  C%ar's  assurances, 
'  as  a  friend,  a  gentleman,'  that  Russia  was  actuated  by  the 
same  purpose,  while  the  forces  were  being  advanced  to  the 
Turkish  frontier.  In  this  way  a  blow  might  be  struck  so 
sudden  and  so  deadly,  as  to  turn  the  scale  in  the  favour  of 
Russia  in  any  resistance  to  her  advance  upon  Constantinople 
which  might  afterwards  be  attempted  by  England.  Add  to 
these  considerations  the  effect  of  being  told  that  England's 
fighting  days  were  over ;  and  does  it  not  become  more  than 
probable,  that  the  Emperor  Nicholas  would  not  have  been 
withheld  from  his  aggression  upon  Turkey  by  any  language, 
however  decided,  which  the  English  Cabinet  might  have 
used  ? 

And  indeed,  short  of  absolute  defiance,  more  decided 
language  could  scarcely  have  been  used  than  that  which  was 
held  by  England.  The  Emperor  was  told,  early  in  1853,  that 
we  in  no  way  shared  his  belief  that  Turkey  was  in  a  dying  state  ; 
that  in  any  case,  if  mischief  did  befall  her,  the  question  how 
her  provinces  should  be  dealt  with  was  one,  not  for  Russia 
and  England  merely,  but  for  all  the  Powers  of  Europe  ;  and 
that,  while  having  ourselves  no  wish  to  hold  Constantinople, 
we  should  not  submit  to  its  being  held  by  Russia.  If  in  the 
face  of  these  intimations  the  Emperor  persevered  in  his 
measures  for  invading  Turkey,  he  must  have  been  prepared 
at  all  hazards  to  encounter  any  resistance  from  us  which  such 
a  step  might  provoke.  That  this  perseverance  must  provoke 
such  resistance  was  obvious  from  the  moment  that  the  four 


1854  £y  RUSSIAN  EMPEROR.  25 

Great  Powers  supported  Turkey  in  her  modifications  of  the 
Vienna  Note.  Only  by  adopting  their  proposals,  could 
Russia  have  averted  a  war.  But  this  she  refused  to  do,  and 
so  brought  matters  to  a  point,  as  expressed  by  the  Prince 
(ante,  vol.  ii.  517),  where,  'only  with  the  most  dishonourable 
cowardice  on  the  part  of  the  Powers,  could  the  demands  be 
conceded  by  them  which  are  now  set  up.' 

•  If  the  politic  wisdom,  which  had  compassed  the  stealthy 
encroachments  of  Russia  for  the  last  150  years,  had  still 
prevailed,  the  Emperor  would  surely  have  sought  the  means 
at  this  point  of  retreating  from  the  position  he  had  taken — a 
position  which  he  was  told  by  the  united  voice  of  Europe 
was  untenable.  But  he  did  not  do  so.  Many — and  Lord 
Aberdeen  among  the  number — found  it  hard  to  believe  that 
the  Sovereign,  who  throughout  a  long  reign  had  been  the 
foremost  to  uphold  the  obligations  of  treaties,  would  endanger 
the  peace  of  Europe  by  seeking  to  disturb  the  territorial 
status,  and  at  that  very  point  where  of  all  others  any  distur 
bance  was  sure  to  occasion  an  European  convulsion.6  The 
arbitrament  of  war,  moreover,  was  too  serious  to  be  lightly 
courted  ;  and  although  by  this  time  a  strong  feeling  of  sym 
pathy  for  Turkey  had  been  aroused,  it  is  impossible  to  look 
back  upon  the  history  of  this  period  of  excitement  without 
coming  to  the  conclusion,  that  the  Government  did  well  to 
repress  rather  than  stimulate  any  action  which  might 
nave  precipitated  a  recourse  to  arms.  Russia  was  believed  to 
be  well  prepared  for  war.  Turkey  was  not ;  neither  were  we. 

G  It  was,  as  might  have  been  expected,  very  early  foreseen  that,  when  it  was 
found  war  could  not  be  avoided,  people  would  be  ready  to  say,  that  it  might 
have  been  avoided  if  the  Emperor  Nicholas  had  been  told  in  blunt  language 
that  England  would  fight  if  he  did  not  withdraw  his  claims.  In  writing  (20th 
December,  1853)  to  Lord  Clarendon  the  Queen  says: — 'Lord  Palmerston's 
mode  of  proceeding  always  hud  that  advantage,  that  it  threatened  steps  which 
it  was  hoped  would  not  become  necessary,  whilst  those  hitherto  taken  started 
on  the  principle  of  not  needlessly  offending  Eussia  by  threats,  obliging  us  at 
the  same  time  to  take  the  very  steps  which  we  refused  to  threaten.' 


26  ENGLISH  MINISTRY   WISELY  SLOW  1854 

France  was  equally  unprepared.  Austria  and  Prussia  hung 
back,  but  if  they  could  be  induced  to  concur  in  active  mea 
sures  with  the  Western  Powers,  it  was  manifestly  impossible 
for  Russia,  even  at  the  eleventh  hour,  to  do  otherwise  than 
recede.  The  Cabinet,  when  they  joined  with  France  in  send 
ing  their  fleets  to  the  support  of  Turkey,  could  not  but  know 
that  this  was  war,  whatever  gloss  might  be  put  upon  the 
proceeding.7  If  they  hoped  that  a  movement  so  serious 
might  make  the  Emperor  pause  in  his  determination,  they 
must  have  done  so  in  the  face  of  all  experience  of  his  pas 
sionate  and  imperious  nature  ;  and  by  adopting  it  without 
at  the  same  time  declaring  war,  they  seemed  to  have  drifted 
into  the  war  which  they  professed  themselves  anxious  to 
avoid.  But  if  they  did  so  drift,  it  was  not  as  a  vessel  drifts 
before  wind  and  tide,  without  a  steersman  at  the  helm  ;  but 
rather  as  every  Ministry  may  be  said  to  drift,  where  after 
long  forbearance  a  war  is  forced  upon  them  by  the  obstinacy 
of  an  antagonist  deaf  to  reason  and  remonstrance.  It  was 
natural,  perhaps,  that  the  action  of  the  Government  should 
seem  wavering  and  uncertain  to  those  who  could  not  measure 
the  difficulties  of  their  position,  or  the  importance  of  the 
negotiations  which  were  then  pending  with  the  other  Powers. 
But  any  misconstruction  of  this  kind  was  of  little  moment, 
so  long  as  the  Ministry  had  the  satisfaction  of  knowing, 
that  they  had  not  embroiled  their  country  in  war,  until 
every  effort  at  conciliation  had  been  made,  and  the  utmost 
limits  of  forbearance  had  been  reached. 

It  was,  no  doubt,  unfortunate  for  them  that  a  belief  should 
have  become  widely  spread, — a  belief  traceable  to  their  own 

7  In  returning  to  Lord  Clarendon  (20th  December,  1853)  the  Draft  De 
spatch  to  Lord  Cowley,  which  authorised  the  joint  action  of  the  Allied  fleets  in 
the  Black  Sea  for  confining  Russian  ships  of  war  to  Sebastopol,  Her  Majesty 
•wrote  :  '  The  concluding  sentence  '  [of  the  Despatch]  '  the  Queen  must  consider 
as  tantamount  to  a  Declaration  of  War,  which,  however,  "under  the  guarded 
conditions  attached  to  it,  she  feels  she  cannot  refuse  to  sanction.' 


1854  TO   DECLARE    WAR.  27 

ranks, —  that  a  section  of  the  Cabinet  thought  that  a  warlike 
policy  had  not  been  pressed  with  sufficient  determination.  At  no 
time  can  the  encouragement  given  by  such  rumours  of  internal 
dissension  to  the  attacks  of  the  Opposition  be  otherwise  than 
damaging  to  a  Ministry,  and  their  evil  influence  was  felt 
long  alter  the  whole  energies  of  the  Cabinet  were  devoted  to 
the  prosecution  of  the  war  with  the  utmost  vigour,  and  indeed 
so  long  as  Lord  Aberdeen  remained  at  the  head  of  affairs. 
Many  things  were,  therefore,  said  at  the  opening  of  the 
Session,  which  were  shown  to  be  both  harsh  and  unjust,  as 
soon  as  the  Ministry  were  able  to  make  public  the  details  of 
the  negotiations  of  the  previous  year.  When  these  became 
known,  the  feeling  of  distrust  gave  way  to  one  of  confidence. 
Jn  an  animated  debate  on  the  20th  of  February,  Lord  Pal- 
merston,  in  a  speech  in  his  best  manner,  triumphantly  vindi 
cated  the  Ministry  from  the  charge  which  had  been  pressed 
against  them  by  Mr.  Disraeli,  of  credulity  in  attaching  credit 
to  the  representations  of  the  Russian  Government : — 

'  It  is  said,  that  we  heard  of  military  preparations  on  the  part 
of  Russia,  and  we  ought  to  have  inferred  from  this  that  some 
other  demands  were  on  foot.  We  were  told  by  the  Russian 
Government  itself  that  such  preparations  were  making,  but  we 
were  also  told  by  the  Russian  Government  that  their  sole  object 
was  to  counteract  the  menacing  language  which  had  been  used  bv 
France,  and  that  they  bore  solely  and  entirely  on  the  question  of 
the  Holy  Places.  We  were  told  also,  it  is  quite  true,  that 
Russia  required  some  proof  of  confidence,  as  well  as  some  repa 
ration  from  Turkey,  for  offences  which  she  had  committed  in 
connection  with  the  changes  that  had  been  made  in  the  question 
of  the  Holy  Places,  and  that  the  security  was  to  be  in  the  form 
of  a  treaty  confirming  the  Sultan's  firmans  for  the  settlement 
of  that  question.  But  we  had  never  any  intimation  that  any 
such  treaty  was  to  apply  to  other  matters.' 

After  taxing  the  Russian  Government  with  exhausting 
every  modification  of  untruth,  concealment,  and  evasion, 


28        LORD  PALMERSTON  ON  ENGLISH  POLICY.    1854 

ending  with  assertions  of  positive  falsehood,  Lord  Palmerston, 
who  was" reputed  to  be  at  variance  with  Lord  Aberdeen  as  to 
his  policy  of  forbearance,  went  on  to  ask  whether  anything 
had  been  lost  by  that  forbearance  ?  Dealing1  with  the  asser 
tion  that  Russia  would  have  given  way  if  we  had  shown 
greater  vigour  at  first,  he  spoke  of  it  as  'a  plausible  opinion, 
but,  after  all,  only  an  opinion,'  and  '  had  Russia,  instead  of 
submission,  urged  us  on  then  to  the  point  at  which  we  now 
stand,  we  should  have  been  justly  chargeable  with  a  grave 
political  mistake.'  He  supported  this  opinion  by  pointing 
out,  that  we  should  then  have  alienated  the  support  of 
Austria  and  Prussia,  which  up  to  this  point  we  had  secured, 
and  whose  neutrality  would  in  any  case  be  of  vital  moment. 
They  were  not  likely  to  have  rushed  rashly  into  a  war,  which, 
if  Russia  should  succeed,  would  involve 

*  Such  an  appropriation  of  geographical  power  on  her  part, 
as  must  be  fatal  to  the  independent  action  of  these  two  countries. 
....  Now  they  will  feel  it  due  to  themselves  to  take  some  part 
in  the  contest,  for,  if  they  do  not,  Austria  must  have  indeed 
forgotten  all  her  established  policy,  and  must  be  ignorant  of  all 
her  own  interests  ;  and  the  same  is  the  case  with  Prussia.  I 
therefore  say,'  he  continued,  '  that  with  England  and  France 
acting  as  the  supporters  of  Turkey,  with  the  opinion  of  the 
whole  of  Europe  opposed  to  the  Emperor  of  Russia,  who  will  not 
have  a  single  ally  to  support  him  in  his  career  of  injustice,  I 
have  no  doubt  as  to  what  must  be  the  result.' 

This  speech  did  much  towards  repairing  the  mischief  done 
by  the  reports  of  division  in  the  Cabinet  counsels.  In  writ 
ing  to  Baron  Stockmar  a  few  days  afterwards,  the  Prince 
speaks  of  it  in  this  sense  : 

4  The  Ministry,'  he  says,  '  has  gained  in  moral  strength. 
The  publication  of  the  Blue  Book  has  quite  changed  the 
popular  feeling  as  to  the  conduct  of  the  Eastern  affair,  and 
in  place  of  indignation,  suspicion,  &c.,  produced  a  recognition 


1 854        LORD   JOHN  RUS SELLS  REFORM  BILL.  29 

of  the  dignified  bearing  of  the  Government.  The  debates 
on  the  Eastern  question  have  all  turned  out  well  for  the 
Ministry,  and  now  that  even  Palmerston  has  spoken  out  in  the 
Commons,  the  public  is  satisfied.  This  again  strengthens 
Aberdeen,  whose  downfall  continues  to  be  the  dearest  wish 
of  the  Tories.' 

True  to  what  he  considered  his  pledge  to  the  country,  Lord 
John  Eussell  had  introduced  his  Reform  Bill  on  the  13th  of 
February.  It  had  its  enemies,  however,  within  the  Cabinet 
itself,  and  it  was  generally  felt  that  the  time  for  its  intro 
duction  was  unseasonable.  On  the  14th  of  February  the 
Prince  had  written,  'It  is  true,  que  personne  n'en  vent, 
because  people  see,  hear,  and  wish  for  war  and  war  only.' 
In  the  letter  to  Baron  Stockmarjust  quoted,  he  thus  refers  to 
it:— 

'  Lord  John  has  introduced  his  Reform  Bill,  and,  although 
Parliament  is  now  as  before  most  anxious  to  get  quit  of  the 
whole  question,  and  all  parties,  the  Whigs  included,  would 
fain  get  Lord  John  out  of  the  way  at  once  and  for  ever,  yet 
the  measure  has  met  with  so  much  genuine  support  through 
out  the  country  by  reason  of  its  fairness,  moderation,  liberality 
and  comprehensiveness,  that  Parliament  will  have  to  deal 
warily  both  with  it  and  its  originator.  The  Radicals  decided 
yesterday  at  a  private  meeting  on  giving  their  adhesion  to  it. 
The  Bill  is,  moreover,  a  really  good  one,  especially  the  in 
troduction  of  the  principle  of  a  representation  of  minorities 
by  way  of  compensation  for  the  extension  of  the  franchise.' 

Then  returning  to  the  all-engrossing  subject  of  the  hour,  the 
Prince  continues  : — 

'  Twelve  thousand  men  will  be  assembled  in  Malta  within 
a  few  days.  Lord  Raglan  receives  the  command  :  the  two 
Divisions  will  be  led  by  George  [Duke  of]  Cambridge  and 


30  LETTER   BY  THE  PRINCE.  1854 

General  Browne.  Gordon,  who  goes  out  upon  the  Staff,  has 
left  me,  and  I  have  appointed  in  his  stead  Captain  du  Plat  of 
the  Artillery,  son  of  the  Consul  General  in  Warsaw.  We  are 
getting  ready  15.000  men  besides.  France,  which  has  hitherto 
shown  no  disposition  to  send  a  single  man,  will  now  send 
45,000.  The  answer  of  the  Emperor  of  Russia  to  the  French 
Emperor's  published  letter,  in  which  1812  is  bluntly  pointed 
at,  breaks  down  the  bridge  between  these  two  potentates, 
and  makes  future  coquetting  impossible. 

'  We  have  exchanged  notes  with  France,  by  which  we 
mutually  put  ourselves  under  condition  neither  to  seek  nor 
reap  any  territorial  advantage  nor  aggrandisement  from  the 
war,  and  offer  Austria  and  Prussia  admission  into  the  alliance 
upon  the  same  conditions. 

( Austria  seems  to  have  wakened  up  at  last,  and  to  be 
anxious  to  assume  her  place  in  our  confederacy :  if  she  does, 
Prussia  will  come  in  with  her.  Manteuffel's  behaviour 
hitherto  has  been  excellent.  We  have  tendered  to  the  Porte 
a  Protective  Treaty,  which  will  be  signed  forthwith. 

*  We  have  placed  our  own  commerce  and  that  of  France 
at  sea  and  throughout  the  world  under  mutual  protection, 
as  a  precaution  against  the  worst  complications,  and  we  are 
ready  for  war.  The  Baltic  Fleet  will  be  the  finest  that  ever 
went  to  sea, — twenty-eight  sail  of  the  line,  to  which  France 
will  add  a  complement  of  fifteen.  In  Petersburg  they  seem 
to  have  made  up  their  mind  to  throw  down  the  gauntlet  to 
all  Europe.  Doubts  begin  to  be  entertained  as  to  the 
Emperor's  sanity. 

4  Our  finances  are  so  flourishing,  that  we  expect  to  carry 
on  the  war  without  borrowing  a  shilling,  doubling  the  Income 
Tax  in  case  of  need ;  at  the  same  time,  however,  we  shall 
not  give  a  shilling  of  subsidy  to  any  one.  The  public  is  as 
eager  for  war  as  ever.  In  the  theatre  every  allusion  to  it  is 
received  with  acclamations.' 


1 8 54  REFORM  BILL    WITHDRAWN.  31 

It  soon  became  evident  that  the  Prince's  fears  as  to  the 
fate  of  the  Keform  Bill  were  to  be  realised.  Although  Lord 
Palmerston  had  professed  his  approval  of  its  leading- 
principles,  when  he  resumed  his  place  in  the  Ministry  after 
his  brief  secession  in  December,  it  was  notorious  that  neither 
Lord  Lansdowne  nor  himself  approved  of  the  measure,  nor 
of  the  time  chosen  for  bringing  it  forward.  The  knowledge 
of  this  circumstance  emboldened  the  Opposition  in  their 
determination  to  prevent  any  change  in  the  representation. 
Many  even  of  the  ordinary  supporters  of  the  Ministry  re 
monstrated  against  stirring  further  with  the  measure,  and  an 
independent  member,  Sir  E.  Dering,  gave  notice  of  his  in 
tention  to  move  an  amendment,  on  the  second  reading,  that 
it  was  inexpedient  to  discuss  it  in  the  present  state  of  our 
foreign  relations.  On  the  3rd  of  March  the  second  reading 
was  adjourned  to  the  16th  of  April.  But  there  was  every 
reason  to  apprehend  a  serious  defeat  if  this  were  pressed,  and 
on  the  llth  of  that  month  Lord  John  Russell  was  compelled 
to  announce  the  withdrawal  of  the  measure  for  the  Session. 
His  emotion  in  doing  so  indicated  very  plainly,  that  he  was 
constrained  to  this  step,  as  much  by  the  coldness  of  friends, 
as  by  the  pressure  of  the  ostensibly  more  urgent  business 
by  which  he  professed  to  have  been  moved  to  sacrifice  his 
cherished  scheme. 

But  in  truth  the  country  was  in  no  mood  to  consider  any 
question,  either  of  contraction  or  redistribution  of  the  fran 
chise.  Its  whole  thoughts  were  concentrated  on  the  war, 
which,  in  the  Queen's  words  in  writing  to  King  Leopold  (14th 
February), '  was  popular  beyond  belief.'  The  enthusiasm  con 
tinued  to  rise  with  the  preparations,  which  were  now  actively 
on  foot,  for  a  conflict,  in  which  the  country  was  impatient  to 
engage.  The  Czar's  reply  to  the  Emperor  of  the  French  had 
dispelled  the  last  hope  that  he  would  abate  one  jot  of  his  pre 
tensions  ;  and,  if  anything  had  been  wanting  to  animate  the 


32         ULTIMATUM  OF  FRANCE  AND  ENGLAND.     1854 

popular  feeling,  the  manifesto  which  he  issued  on  the  23rd 
of  February  would  have  been  more  than  sufficient  for  the 
purpose.  '  England  and  France,'  it  ran,  (  have  sided  with 
the  enemies  of  Christianity  against  Russia  combating  for 
the  Orthodox  faith.  But  Russia  will  not  betray  her  holy 
mission,  and  if  enemies  encroach  upon  her  frontiers,  we  are 
ready  to  meet  them  with  the  firmness  bequeathed  to  us  by 
our  forefathers.'  This  language  imported  a  fiercer  rancour 
into  a  strife  already  sufficiently  embittered,  by  declaring  that 
to  be  a  war  of  creeds  which  the  Western  nations  could  only 
recognise  as  the  offspring  of  a  reckless  ambition. 

The  Russian  Ambassador  had  quitted  London  on  the 
7th  of  February,  and  the  same  day  our  Ambassador  at  St. 
Petersburg  was  recalled.  The  formality  of  declaring  war  had 
nevertheless  not  been  gone  through.  The  time,  however,  for 
doing  this  had  now  come.  Towards  the  end  of  February  the 
Austrian  Prime  Minister  had  let  it  be  known,  that  if  France 
and  England  would  fix  a  day  for  the  evacuation  of  the 
Principalities  by  Russia,  after  which,  if  the  notice  were  dis 
regarded,  hostilities  would  commence,  Austria  would  support 
the  summons.  No  time  was  lost  in  acting  upon  this  an 
nouncement,  and  on  the  27th  of  February  simultaneous  notes 
to  this  effect  were  despatched  to  St.  Petersburg  from  London 
and  from  Paris.  The  bearer  of  these  despatches  was  to  wait 
six  days  for  a  reply,  and  the  30th  of  April  was  named  as  the 
day  for  the  evacuation  of  the  Principalities.  To  these  notes, 
which  were  delivered  to  the  Emperor  on  the  14th  of  March, 
lie  intimated  to  the  representatives  of  England  and  France, 
through  his  Chancellor,  that  he  did  not  think  it  fitting  (con- 
r enable]  that  he  should  make  any  reply.  This  decision  reached 
London  by  the  24th.  On  the  27th  the  Emperor  of  the  French 
addressed  a  message  to  the  Corps  Legislatif,  announcing  that 
Russia,  having  refused  to  reply  to  the  summons  of  France 
and  England,  was  thereby  placed,  with  regard  to  France,  in  a 


1 854  WAR    WITH  RUSSIA   DECLARED.  33 

state  of  war,  the  whole  responsibility  of  which  rested  upon 
Russia.  The  same  day  a  message  from  the  Queen  to  the 
House  of  Lords  announced  the  failure  of  the  negotiations 
with  Russia,  in  which,  in  concert  with  her  allies,  Her 
Majesty  had  been  for  some  time  engaged,  and  on  the  follow 
ing  day  a  formal  Declaration  of  War  was  issued.  This 
document,  after  narrating  the  progress  of  the  Eastern 
Question  with  admirable  succinctness,  concluded  thus : — 

*  In  this  conjuncture,  Her  Majesty  feels  called  upon,  by  regard 
for  an  ally,  the  integrity  and  independence  of  whose  empire  have 
been  recognised  as  essential  to  the  peace  of  Europe,  by  the  sym 
pathies  of  her  people  with  right  against  wrong,  by  a  desire  to 
avert  from  her  dominions  most  injurious  consequences,  and  to 
save  Europe  from  the  preponderance  of  a  Power,  which  has 
violated  the  faith  of  treaties  and  defies  the  opinion  of  the  civi 
lised  world,  to  take  up  arms,  in  conjunction  with  the  Emperor 
of  the  French,  for  the  defence  of  the  Sultan.  Her  Majesty  is 
persuaded  that  in  so  acting  she  will  have  the  support  of  her 
people ;  and  that  the  pretext  of  zeal  for  the  Christian  religion 
will  be  used  in  vain  to  cover  an  aggression  undertaken  in  dis 
regard  of  its  holy  precepts  and  of  its  pure  and  beneficent  spirit.' 

Meanwhile  a  considerable  portion  of  the  troops  destined 
for  action  in  the  East  had  sailed.  No  nobler  body  of  men 
ever  wore  the  British  uniform  than  the  regiments  which 
passed  through  London  in  these  days,  high  in  heart  and 
hope,  and  in  the  flower  of  manly  vigour,  amid  the  cheers  of 
surging  and  enthusiastic  crowds.  Of  one  detachment  so 
starting  to  scenes  of  privation  and  trial,  then  little  dreamed 
of  by  these  crowds  or  by  themselves,  a  glimpse  is  furnished 
in  a  few  graphic  touches  in  a  letter  by  the  Queen  to  King 
Leopold  on  the  28th  of  February  :— 

6  The  last  battalion  of  the  Guards  (Scottish  Fusiliers) 
embarked  to-day.  They  passed  through  the  court-yard  here 
at  seven  o'clock  this  morning.  We  stood  on  the  balcony  to 
see  them.  The  morning  fine,  the  sun  shining  over  the 

VOL.  III.  D 


34  DEPARTURE   OF  THE   GUARDS.  1854 

towers  of  Westminster  Abbey,  and  an  immense  crowd  col 
lected  to  see  the  fine  men,  and  cheering  them  immensely 
as  with  difficulty  they  marched  along.  They  formed  line, 
presented  arms,  and  then  cheered  us  very  heartily,  and  went 
off  cheering.  It  was  a  touching  and  beautiful  sight.  Many 
sorrowing  friends  were  there,  and  one  saw  the  shake  of  many 
a  hand.  My  best  wishes  and  prayers  will  be  with  them  all.' 

A  few  days  after  this  (10th  of  March,  1854),  the  Queen  and 
Prince  left  London  for  Osborne,  in  order  that  they  might  visit 
the  magnificent  fleet  which  had  been  assembled  at  Spithead 
under  the  command  of  Sir  Charles  Napier.  On  the  eve 
of  their  departure  Her  Majesty  writes  to  Lord  Aberdeen  : — 

'We  are  just  starting  to  see  the  fleet,  which  is  to  sail  at 
once  for  its  important  destination.  It  will  be  a  solemn 
moment !  Many  a  heart  will  be  very  heavy,  and  many  a 
prayer,  including  our  own,  will  be  offered  up  for  its  safety 
and  glory ! ' 


35 


CHAPTER   LIII. 

THE  fame  of  the  stately  fleet  which  was  assembled  at 
Spithead  had  drawn  thousands  to  Portsmouth  from  every 
part  of  the  country,  and  the  appearance  it  presented  answered 
the  high  expectations  which  had  been  raised.  Twenty  iron 
ships,  all  moved  by  steam,  composed  the  squadron.  Of  these 
the  Duke  of  Wellington,  of  131  guns,  and  the  Royal  George, 
of  120  guns,  were  three-deckers,  six  more  were  line-of-battle 
ships,  and  the  remaining  twelve  were  all  of  great  tonnage, 
and  armed  with  artillery  of  the  most  formidable  weight.  The 
weather  which  awaited  the  Queen  on  her  arrival  from  London 
was  too  bad  to  admit  of  any  deliberate  inspection  of  the 
fleet  on  her  way  to  Osborne,  and  prevented  Her  Majesty  from 
visiting  the  Admiral's  ship,  the  St.  Jean  cPAcre,  as  she  had 
intended.  But  although  the  bad  weather  somewhat  marred 
what  would  otherwise  have  been  a  spectacle  of  unusual  beauty 
and  interest,  it  could  not  deprive  those  who  were  at  this 
moment  uppermost  in  Her  Majestyrs  thoughts  of  the  en 
couragement  of  her  presence.  Leaving  Portsmouth  amid 
the  thunders  of  a  salute  from  the  vessels  there,  including 
the  old  Victory,  the  little  Royal  yacht,  the  Fairy,  made 
its  way  through  the  squadron,  amid  the  cheers  of  the  men, 
by  whom  the  yards  were  manned,  and  the  roar  of  the  guns, 
and  then  bore  away  for  Osborne. 

Next  day  (llth  March)  the  Queen  and  Prince  returned  in 
the  Fairy  to  Spithead  to  witness  the  departure  of  the  first 
Division  of  the  squadron  for  the  Baltic.  Taking  her  place  at 

D2 


36  SAILING   OF  THE  BALTIC  FLEET.  1854 

the  head  of  the  squadron,  the  Fairy  led  the  way  for  several 
miles,  and  then  stopped  while  the  fleet  defiled  past  the  Eoyal 
yacht,  saluting  as  it  went.  As  the  majestic  procession  went 
by, — the  Admiral  bringing  up  the  rear  in  the  Duke  of  Wel 
lington, — The  Times  chronicler  reports,  'Her  Majesty  stood 
waving  her  handkerchief  towards  the  mighty  ship  as  she 
departed,  and  for  a  long  time  after  the  whole  fleet  had  gone 
the  Royal  yacht  remained  motionless,  as  if  the  illustrious 
occupants  desired  to  linger  over  a  spectacle  calculated  to 
impress  them  so  profoundly.'  What  was  in  the  Queen's  heart 
at  the  time  we  may  infer  from  a  few  words  in  a  letter  of  this 
period  to  Baron  Stockmar :  '  I  am  very  enthusiastic  about  my 
dear  army  and  navy,  and  wish  I  had  two  sons  in  both  now. 
I  know  I  shall  suffer  much  when  I  hear  of  losses  among  them.' 
On  the  15th,  when  the  second  Division  of  the  squadron  sailed, 
the  Queen  and  Prince  returned  to  Spithead  to  give  them  a 
parting  greeting. 

On  the  llth  March  the  Prince  writes  to  Baron  Stockmar  : — 

4 1  write  to  you  to-day  from  Osborne,  to  which  we  came 
yesterday,  in  order  to  see  at  noon  to-day  the  fleet  put  to  sea 
which  has  been  mustered  at  Spithead,  and  is  to  go  to  the 
Baltic  under  Sir  Charles  Napier.  It  is  wonderfully  fine,  con 
sisting  almost  exclusively  of  screw  ships,  and  carries  2,000  guns 
and  21,000  men.  The  French  have  not  yet  been  able  to  get 
a  single  ship  ready  to  start,  but  they  promise  great  things. 
We  can  wait  no  longer,  for  the  ice  in  the  Baltic  is  beginning 
to  break  up.' 

Admiral  Sir  Charles  Napier  felt  that  too  much  had  been 
spoken  and  written  as  to  what  his  fleet  might  be  relied  on  to 
effect ;  and,  in  replying  to  an  address  from  the  corporation 
of  Portsmouth  just  before  starting,  he  had  done  his  best  to 
moderate  the  expectations  which  had  been  raised,  and  which 
the  event  proved  to  be  greatly  exaggerated.  Some  days 


1854  DINNER   TO   SIR   CHARLES  NAPIER.  37 

before  (7th  March)  a  dinner,  presided  over  by  Lord  Palmers- 
ton,  and  attended  by  Sir  James  Graham,  First  Lord  of  the 
Admiralty,  and  by  Sir  William  Molesworth,  the  First  Com 
missioner  of  Works,  had  been  given  to  him  at  the  Reform 
Club.  A  more  prudent  man  would  not  have  allowed  himself 
to  be  put  in  a  position  where  modesty  in  speech  was  sure  to  be 
construed  into  lack  of  spirit,  and  yet  where  confident  assertion 
must  have  that  air  of  bravado  which  a  brave  man  most  abhors. 
Sir  Charles  Napier  was  not  the  man  to  steer  between  a 
Scylla  and  Charybdis  of  this  kind.  But  his  speech  upon  the 
occasion  created  less  dissatisfaction  than  those  of  the  more 
practised  orators,  who  made  him  the  object  of  their  encomium. 
It  was  a  new  feature  in  English  political  life,  that  members 
of  the  Cabinet  should  take  an  active  part  in  a  public  dinner 
to  an  Admiral  on  the  eve  of  his  assuming  a  command  at  the 
outset  of  a  great  war.  There  was  no  need  to  fan  the  war 
spirit  of  the  country,  for  it  was  already  at  fever  pitch ;  and  it 
was  generally  felt  that  it  would  have  been  time  enough  to 
speak  of  English  prowess  and  the  great  qualities  of  a  naval 
leader,  after  victory,  and  not  before  it.  The  tone  of  the 
speeches  of  both  Lord  Palmerston  and  Sir  James  Graham  was 
resented  as  flippant  and  unbecoming  by  those  whose  hearts 
went  entirely  with  the  war,  scarcely  less  than  by  those 
who  most  strongly  condemned  it.  '  I  have  read,'  said  Mr. 
Bright,  a  few  nights  afterwards  in  the  House  of  Commons, 
6  the  proceedings  of  that  banquet  with  pain  and  humiliation. 
The  reckless  levity  displayed  is,  in  my  opinion,  discreditable 
to  the  grave  and  responsible  statesmen  of  a  civilised  and 
Christian  nation.'  Losing  his  wonted  self-control,  Lord 
Palmerston  adopted  a  tone  of  contemptuous  indignation  in 
his  reply,  but  the  House  was  not  in  a  temper  to  submit  to  an 
exhibition  of  the  same  levity  towards  themselves,  and  he 
was  made  to  feel  that  his  influence,  great  as  it  was,  could  not 
reconcile  them  to  the  grave  mistake  which  he  had  committed. 


38  AirSSfAN  INFLUENCE  1854 

By  this  time  it  had  become  clear  that  Russian  influence 
at  the  Court  of  Berlin  was  actively  at  work  to  undo  the 
European  concert  which  had  hitherto  been  maintained.  The 
Prussian  envoy  at  the  Conference  of  Vienna  had,  as  we  have 
seen,  joined  in  the  declaration  that  the  recent  proposals  of 
the  Czar  were  inadmissible.  But  no  sooner  had  this  step 
been  taken  than  the  King  of  Prussia  became  alarmed  at  the 
act  of  his  own  Government.  His  dread  of  what  the  Czar 
might  do  in  the  way  of  attack  on  Prussia  was  known  to 
verge  on  absolute  pusillanimity,  and  the  alternative  now 
presented  to  his  choice  was,  either  to  follow  the  other  Great 
Powers  into  enforcing  by  arms  their  declaration  that  the  de 
mands  of  Russia  were  incompatible  with  the  faith  of  treaties 
and  the  peace  of  Europe,  or  to  take  up  a  position  of  neu 
trality,  on  the  ground  that  the  interests  of  Prussia  were  not 
involved  in  the  quarrel. 

In  the  letter  to  Baron  Stockmar  just  quoted  the  Prince 
says  on  this  subject : — 

'The  European  complication  is  becoming*,  through  the 
conduct  of  the  King  of  Prussia,  most  perilous  for  Germany. 
He  has  within  the  last  fortnight  taken  a  decided  turn  in 

O 

favour  of  Russia,  and  Bunsen  has  fallen  into  extreme  dis 
credit  here.  After  he  had  depicted  in  the  most  glowing 
colours  Prussia's  readiness  to  stand  by  the  Western  Powers, 
and  urged  us  de  pousser  la  pointe,  and  to  force  his 
Ministry  into  further  declarations,  telling  us  they  needed 
and  desired  such  a  stimulus,  he  has,  since  his  master's 
change  of  front,  become  suddenly  very  violent  with  Lord 
Clarendon — "  Prussia  could  not  allow  herself  to  be  bullied,'' 
&c.  &c.  &c. 

'The  irritation  here  against  the  Prussian  Court  is  very 
great,  and  not  undeserved.  After  it  had  caused  intimation 
to  be  made  of  its  dread  of  France,  and  we  had  procured  a 


1 854  AT  COURT  OF  BERLIN,  39 

declaration  for  them  that  no  territorial  aggrandisement  of 
any  kind  would  be  accepted  by  that  nation,  they  now  affect 
a  fear  of  Eussia,  as  though  Prussia  must  be  swallowed  up  in 
a  moment.  This  to  a  certain  extent  paralyses  Austria,  and 
once  the  war  begins,  which  it  will  do  in  a  fortnight,  arid 
Europe  is  found  to  act  in  concert  no  longer,  the  King's 
character  must  inevitably  be  damaged,  and  a  revolutionary 
war  ensue. 

'  Reform  is  meanwhile  postponed  till  Easter,  and  I  do  not 
see  a  chance  for  its  being  taken  up  again.' 

The  King  of  Prussia  seems  to  have  thought  that  some 
thing  could  be  done  by  taking  the  Eastern  Question  into  his 
own  hands,  and  making  a  direct  personal  appeal  to  the  English 
Sovereign.  It  is  difficult  to  see  by  what  process  he  could 
have  brought  himself  to  think,  that  such  a  step  could  be  of 
any  avail,  unless,  indeed,  it  were  that,  in  his  conceptions  of 
a  constitutional  monarchy,  the  will  of  the  Sovereign  was 
omnipotent,  and  could  reverse  the  decisions  of  the  Ministry. 
However  this  may  be,  scarcely  had  the  decision  negative  of  the 
Czar's  proposals  been  come  to  at  Vienna,  when  he  despatched 
a  cavalry  officer,  General  von  der  Groben,  with  two  letters 
to  our  Queen,  one  official  and  the  other  private.  Both 
letters  could  of  course  only  be  dealt  with  by  Her  Majesty  as 
public  documents  addressed  to  her  advisers  as  well  as  to 
herself.  Their  only  practical  object  was  to  urge  the  Queen 
to  consider  anew  the  Russian  proposal,  which  had  been 
rejected  at  Vienna,  '  in  a  spirit  of  conciliation  and  a  love  of 
peace.'  If  only  she  would  do  this,  the  King  wrote,  he  would 
not  abandon  the  hope  that  a  good  understanding  would  yet 
be  come  to  between  Great  Britain,  France,  and  Russia.  As 
the  official  letter  was  confined  to  this  suggestion,  the  answer 
was  short  and  decided  :  '  Although  anxious,'  it  bore,  '  to  co 
operate  with  Your  Majesty  in  every  effort  for  the  preservation 


40  LETTER  BY  KING    OF  PRUSSIA  1854 

of  peace,  I  deeply  lament  to  say  that  I  cannot  venture  to 
entertain  a  hope  that  war  will  now  be  averted  ;  but  I  feel 
confidence  that  its  sphere  may  be  restricted,  and  the  duration 
of  that  great  calamity  may  be  shortened  by  the  Four  Powers 
continuing  to  be  firmly  united  in  their  policy  and  course  of 
action.' 

The  King's  other  letter,  which  was  long  and  eloquent  as 
usual,  demanded  a  more  elaborate  reply.  '  I  am  informed,1 
he  wrote,  '  that  the  Eussian  Emperor  has  sent  proposals  for 
preliminaries  of  peace  to  Vienna,  and  that  these  have  been 
pronounced  by  the  Conference  of  Ambassadors  not  to  be  in 
accordance  with  their  programme.  Just  there,  where  the 
vocation  of  diplomacy  ceases,  does  the  special  province  of  the 
Sovereign  begin.  The  moment  is  big  with  a  most  mo 
mentous  decision.  The  destinies  of  a  quarter  of  the  globe 
hang  upon  a  cast  of  the  die.  If  God  be  not  merciful  to 
Europe,  we  are  face  to  face  with  a  war  of  which  the  end 
cannot  be  foreseen.'  Then  recalling  the  enormous  losses  of 
human  life  in  the  war  of  1813-14-15 — '  a  war  commensurate, 
however,  with  the  horrors  of  the  sacrifice,' — the  King  asks, 
if  the  impending  war  is  'worth  the  much  greater  sacrifice 
which  it  will  demand,  looking  to  the  inexhaustible  resources 
and  the  imshakeable  resolution  of  Russia  and  the  Allied 
Powers.' 

4  Is  it  not  most  strange,'  the  letter  continues,  f  that 
England  seems  for  some  time  past  to  have  been  ashamed  of 
what  has  been  the  special  motive  cause  of  the  impending 
conflagration  ?  Who  now  speaks  of  the  Turk  ?  On  the 
contrary,  the  war  will  now  be  in  the  highest  sense  of  the 
word  a  war  for  an  idea  (ein  Tendenzkrieg).1  The  pre- 


1  It  is  difficult  to  find  in  English  a  full  equivalent  for  this  -word.  The 
meaning  seems  to  be  a  war  directed  to  a  remote  ulterior  purpose  as  contrasted 
with  a  war  for  an  immediate  and  tangible  object,  such  as  a  war  of  defence  or 
of  reprisals. 


1854  TO   QUEEN   VICTORIA.  41 

ponderance  of  Russia  is  to  be  broken  down !  Well !  I,  her 
neighbour,  have  never  felt  this  preponderance,  and  have  never 
yielded  to  it.  And  England,  in  truth,  has  felt  it  less  than  I. 
The  equilibrium  of  Europe  will  be  menaced  by  this  war,  for 
the  world's  greatest  Powers  will  be  weakened  by  it.  But, 
above  all,  suffer  me  to  ask,  u  Does  God's  law  justify  a  war  for 
an  idea  ?  " '  This  last  consideration  it  is  that  leads  the  writer 
to  implore  Pier  Majesty,  '  for  the  sake  of  the  Prince  of 
Peace,  not  to  reject  the  Russian  proposals.  .  .  .  Order  them 
to  be  probed  to  the  bottom,  and  see  that  this  is  done  in.  a 
desire  for  peace.  Cause  what  may  be  accepted  to  be  win- 
nowed  from  u'hat  appears  objectionable,  and  set  negoti 
ations  on  foot  upon  this  basis  !  I  know  that  the  Russian 
Emperor  is  ardently  desirous  of  peace.  Let  Your  Majesty 
build  a  bridge  for  the  principle  of  his  life — the  Imperial 
honour !  He  will  walk  over  it,  extolling  God  and  praising 
Him.  For  this  I  pledge  myself. 

'  In  conclusion,,  will  Your  Majesty  allow  me  to  say  one 
word  for  Prussia  and  for  myself  ?  /  am  resolved  to  main 
tain  a  position  of  complete  neutrality ;  and  to  this  I  add, 
with  proud  elation,  My  people  and  myself  are  of  one  mind. 
They  require  absolute  neutrality  from  me.  They  say  (and 
I  say),  "  What  have  we  to  do  with  the  Turk  ?  "  Whether  he 
stand  or  fall  in  no  way  concerns  the  industrious  Rhinelanders 
and  the  husbandmen  of  the  Riesengebirg  and  Bernstein. 
Grant  that  the  Russian  tax-gatherers  are  an  odious  race,  and 
that  of  late  monstrous  falsehoods  have  been  told  and  outrages 
perpetrated  in  the  Imperial  name.  It  was  the  Turk,  and 
not  we  who  suffered,  and  the  Turk  has  plenty  of  good  fiiends, 
but  the  Emperor  is  a  noble  gentleman,  and  has  done  us  no 
harm.  Your  Majesty  will  allow  that  this  North  German 
sound  practical  sense  is  difficult  to  gainsay.  .  .  .  Should 
Count  Groben  come  too  late,  should  war  have  been  declared, 
still  I  do  not  abandon  hope.  Many  a  war  has  been  declared, 


42  QUEEN   VICTORIA  1854 

and  yet  not   come   to  actual  blows.     God  the  Lord's  Will 
decides,' 

To  rebuke,  without  violating  the  forms  of  courtesy,  the 
amiable  but  most  mischievous  weakness  which  pervades  this 
letter,  and  to  make  appeal  to  a  sentiment  higher  than  the 
short-sighted  and  selfish  policy  which  it  announced,  was  no 
easy  task.  But  the  firm  hand  and  admirable  tact  which 
never  failed  the  Sovereign  was  equal  to  the  task.  Her 
Majesty's  reply  was  in  German,  and  the  earnest  conviction 
under  which  it  was  written  is  visible  in  the  firm  and  fluent 
characters  of  the  draft  of  it,  in  the  Prince's  autograph,  which 
lies  before  us,  without  a  word  of  erasure  or  interlineation,  as 
we  translate :  — 

'  Osborne,  17th  March,  1854. 

6  Dear  Brother, — General  Graf  von  Groben  has  handed  to 
me  the  official  as  well  as  private  letter  of  Your  Majesty,  and 
I  send  your  friendly  messenger  back  to  you  with  answers  to 
both.  He  will  be  able  to  tell  you  by  word  of  mouth,  what 
I  can  only  do  imperfectly  in  writing,  how  deep  is  my  regret, 
that  after  we  have  gone  hand  in  hand  loyally  until  now, 
you  should  separate  from  us  at  this  critical  moment.  My 
regret  is  all  the  greater  bv  reason  of  my  inability  even  to 
comprehend  the  reasons  which  induce  Your  Majesty  to  take 
this  step. 

'  The  recent  Russian  proposals  came  as  an  answer  to  the 
very  last  attempt  at  a  compromise  which  the  Powers  con 
sidered  they  could  make  with  honour,  and  they  have  been 
rejected  by  the  Vienna  Conference,  not  because  they  were 
merely  at  variance  with  the  language  of  the  programme,  but 
because  they  were  directly  contrary  to  its  meaning.  Y^our 
Majesty's  envoy  has  taken  part  in  this  Conference  and  its 
decision,  and  when  Your  Majesty  says,  "  where  the  vocation  of 
diplomacy  ends,  there  that  of  the  Sovereign  may  with  pro- 


1 854  TO   THE  KING   OF  PRUSSIA.  43 

priety  begin,"  I  cannot  concur  in  any  such  line  of  demarcation, 
for  what  my  ambassador  does,  he  does  in  my  name,  and 
consequently  I  feel  myself  not  only  bound  in  honour,  but 
also  constrained  by  an  imperative  obligation  to  accept  the 
consequences,  whatever  they  may  be,  of  the  line  which  he 
has  been  directed  to  adopt. 

4  The  consequences  of  a  war,  frightful  and  incalculable  as 
they  are,  are  as  distressing  to  me  to  contemplate  as  they  are 
to  Your  Majesty.  I  am  also  aware  that  the  Emperor  of 
Russia  does  not  wish  for  war.  But  he  makes  demands  upon 
the  Porte,  which  the  united  European  Powers,  yourself 
included,  have  solemnly  declared  to  be  incompatible  with  the 
independence  of  the  Porte  and  the  equilibrium  of  Europe. 
In  view  of  this  declaration,  and  of  the  presence  of  the 
Russian  army  of  invasion  in  the  Principalities,  the  Powers 
must  be  prepared  to  support  their  words  by  acts.  If  the 
Turk  now  retires  into  the  background,  and  the  impending 
war  appears  to  you  to  be  a  "  war  for  an  idea/'  the  reason 
is  simply  this,  that  the  very  motives  which  urge  on  the 
Emperor,  in  spite  of  the  protest  of  all  Europe,  and  at  the 
risk  of  a  war  that  may  devastate  the  world,  to  persist  in  his 
demands,  disclose  a  determination  to  realise  a  fixed  idea,  and 
that  the  grand  ulterior  consequences  of 'the  war  must  be 
regarded  as  far  more  important  than  its  original  ostensible 
cause,  which  in  the  beginning  appeared  to  be  neither  more 
nor  less  than  the  key  of  the  back  door  of  a  mosque. 

6  Your  Majesty  calls  upon  me  "  to  probe  the  question  to 
the  bottom  in  the  spirit  and  love  of  peace,  and  to  build  a 
bridge  for  the  Imperial  honour."  ....  All  the  devices 
and  ingenuity  of  diplomacy  and  also  of  good  will  have  been 
squandered  during  the  last  nine  months  in  vain  attempts 
to  build  up  such  a  bridge  !  Projets  de  Notes,  Conventions, 
Protocols,  &c.  &c.,  by  the  dozen  have  emanated  from  the 
Chancelleries  of  the  different  Powers,  and  the  ink  that  has 


44  QUEEN   VICTORIA  1854 

gone  to  the  penning-  of  them  might  well  be  called  a  second 
Black  Sea-.  But  every  one  of  them  has  been  wrecked  upon 
the  self-will  of  your  Imperial  brother-in-law. 

4  When  Your  Majesty  tells  me  "that  you  are  now  deter 
mined  to  assume  an  attitude  of  complete  neutrality,"  and 
that  in  this  mind  you  appeal  to  your  people,  who  exclaim 
with  sound  practical  sense,  "  It  is  to  the  Turk  that  violence 
has  been  done  ;  the  Turk  has  plenty  of  good  friends,  and  the 
Emperor  has  done  us  no  harm," — I  do  not  understand  you. 
Had  such  language  fallen  from  the  King  of  Hanover  or  of 
Saxony,  I  could  have  understood  it.  But  up  to  the  present 
hour  I  have  regarded  Prussia  as  one  of  the  five  Grreat 
Powers,  which  since  the  Peace  of  181,")  have  been  the 
guarantors  of  treaties,  the  guardians  of  civilisation,  the 
champions  of  right,  and  ultimate  arbitrators  of  the  nations  ; 
and  I  have  for  my  part  felt  the  holy  duty  to  which  they 
were  thus  divinely  called,  being  at  the  same  time  perfectly 
alive  to  the  obligations,  serious  as  these  are  and  fraught 
with  danger,  which  it  imposes.  Eenounce  these  obligations, 
my  dear  brother,  and  in  doing  so  you  renounce  for  Prussia 
the  status  she  has  hitherto  held.  And  if  the  example  thus 
set  should  find  imitators,  European  civilisation  is  abandoned 
as  a  plaything  for  the  winds  ;  right  will  no  longer  find  a 
champion,  nor  the  oppressed  an  umpire  to  appeal  to. 

4  Let  not  Your  Majesty  think  that  my  object  in  what  I 
have  said  is  to  persuade  you  to  change  your  determination  ; 
it  is  a  genuine  outpouring  from  the  heart  of  a  sister  who  is 
devoted  to  you,  who  could  not  forgive  herself  if,  at  such  an 
eventful  moment,  she  did  not  lay  bare  her  inmost  soul  to 
you.  So  little  have  I  it  in  my  purpose  to  seek  to  persuade 
you,  that  nothing  has  pained  me  more  than  the  suspicion 
expressed  through  General  von  der  Grroben  in  your  name, 
that  it  was  the  wish  of  England  to  lead  you  into  temptation 
by  holding  out  the  prospect  of  certain  advantages.  The 


1854  TO    THE  KING   OF  PRUSSIA.  45 

groundlessness  of  such  an  assumption  is  apparent  from  the 
very  terms  of  the  Treaty,  which  was  offered  to  you,  the  most 
important  clause  of  which  was  that  by  which  the  contracting 
parties  pledged  themselves,  under  no  circumstances ,  to  seek 
to  obtain  from  the  war  any  advantage  to  themselves.  Your 
Majesty  could  not  possibly  have  given  any  stronger  proof  of 
your  unselfishness  than  by  your  signature  to  this  treaty. 

'  But  now  to  conclude  !  You  think  that  war  might  even 
be^declared,  yet  you  express  the  hope  that  for  all  that  it 
might  still  not  break  out.  I  cannot,  unfortunately,  give 
countenance  to  the  hope  that  the  declaration  will  not  be 
followed  by  immediate  action.  .  Shakspeare's  words — 

Beware 

Of  entrance  to  a  quarrel ;  but,  being  in, 
Bear  it,  that  the  opposer  may  beware  of  thee — 

have  sunk  deeply  into  every  Englishman's  heart.  Sad  that 
they  should  find  their  application  here,  where,  in  other  cir 
cumstances,  personal  friendship  and  liking  would  alone  pre 
vail  !  What  must  be  Your  Majesty's  state  of  mind  at  seeing 
them  directed  against  a  beloved  brother-in-law,  whom  yet, 
much  as  you  love  him,  your  conscience  cannot  acquit  of  the 
crime  of  having,  by  his  arbitrary  and  passionate  bearing, 
brought  such  vast  misery  upon  the  world  ! 

'  May  the  Almighty  have  you  in  His  keeping  ! 

'  With  Albert's  warmest   remembrances   and   our   united 
greetings  to  the  dear  Queen,  I  remain, 
'  My  dear  Brother, 

4  Your  Majesty's  faithful  sister  and  friend, 

'  VlCTOBIA  E.' 

In  returning  the  draft  of  this  letter  to  the  Prince  (18th 
of  March)  Lord  Clarendon  said,  that  he  ;  had  read  it  with 
sincere  pleasure  and  admiration.  It  is  probably  the  first 
time  that  a  faithful  picture  of  his  conduct  and  position  has 


46  THE  PRINCE   CONSORT  1854 

been  presented  to  the  King.     I  have  sent  a  translation  to 
Lord  Aberdeen.' 

A  few  days  afterwards  the  Prince  reported  his  views  of 
the  political  position  in  the  following  letter  to  Baron  Stock- 
mar  :— 

'  During  the  time  I  have  not  written,  a  period  of  scarcely 
a  fortnight,  the  political  world  has  again  undergone  a  marked 
revolution.  The  symptoms  which  we  had  noted  in  Berlin 
were  speedily  followed  by  a  complete  right-about-face  in  the 
Prussian  policy.  The  indignation  here  on  the  subject  of  the 
inconstancy,  the  unreliableness,  and  the  folly  (  Unverstand)  of 
the  King  is  very  great.  Even  Bunsen  has  been  acting 
foolishly,  first  laying  before  the  King  a  grand  scheme  for  the 
partition  of  Eussia  to  the  advantage  of  Prussia,  and  then, 
when  he  found  that  this  had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  his 
master's  Eussian  camarilla,  and  had  roused  the  King's  own 
indignation,  making  a  scene  with  Lord  Clarendon,  in  which 
he  started,  without  any  justification,  the  theme,  "  Prussia  will 
not  be  bullied,"  and,  in  order  to  set  himself  right  again  at 
home,  telegraphing  that  Lord  Clarendon  had  answered  him 
in  very  violent  language  (which  was  true).  Now,  however, 
the  King  has  referred  the  violence  to  the  scheme  of  partition, 
called  himself  disgraced,  &c.  It  was  necessary  Bunsen  should 
have  a  diplomatic  indisposition  for  some  months.  He  replied 
that  he  would  not  be  indisposed.  Then  Von  der  Grroben 
was  sent  to  explain  the  King's  policy !  No  pleasant  task 
either !  But  the  choice  for  the  purpose  was  good,  for  it  fell 
upon  a  man,  who  knew  absolutely  nothing  of  the  policy,  who 
was  no  witch  and  no  diplomatist,  and  had  not  read  a  single 
official  document  on  the  Eastern  Question,  and  who  was  only 
allowed  six  hours  pour  faire  ses  mattes,  after  receiving  the 
announcement  of  his  mission.  And  this  was  the  man  charged 
with  the  duty  of  convincing  England,  that  the  intentions  of 


1 854  TO  BARON  STOCK  MAR.  47 

the  Emperor  of  Kussia  were  excellent,  and  that  we  ought  not 
to  make  war  upon  the  poor  man!  The  King  wished  to 
preserve  complete  neutrality,  for  he  was  furious  that  it 
should  have  been  thought  he  was  open  to  be  bribed.  Prussia 
and  Germany  have  absolutely  no  interest  in  the  Eastern 
Question,  except  the  wish  to  see  Christianity  established !  ! 
The  answers  you  may  imagine. 

'  I  have  read  Ofustav  Diezel's  brochure  with  extreme 
interest,2  and  arranged  for  its  translation  into  English.  It 
is  admirably  written.  When  one  is  standing  in  the  tread 
mill  of  action,  the  product  of  the  calm  consecutive  thought 
of  a  German  highly  cultivated  philosophical  head  is  a  great 
refreshment.  You  can  form  no  conception  of  the  fatigue 
which  just  at  this  moment  this  treadmill  causes  me,  and  of 
the  refreshment  which  a  quarter  of  an  hour's  conversation 
with  you  now  and  then  would  be  to  me. 

f  Even  yet  Aberdeen  cannot  rise  to  the  level  of  the 
situation  (Aberdeen  kann  sich  noch  nicht  in  die  Hohe 
schwingen) ;  the  war  is  in  his  eyes  "  like  a  civil  war,  like 
a  war  between  England  and  Scotland  !  "  I  do  not  like  it 
myself  (ich  mag  ihn  nicht),  but  for  all  that  I  cannot  conjure 
up  his  feeling  within  myself,  perhaps  because  I  was  born  in 
1819,  and  he  was  serving  in  1813  and  1814  in  the  head 
quarters  of  the  Allies. 

'If  Austria  continue  true,  this  feeling  will  be  greatly 
modified,  but  Prussia  makes  it  very  difficult  for  it  to  do  so. 

6  The  Baltic  Fleet  is  superb ;  on  the  other  hand,  the 
speeches  at  the  Napier  dinner  at  the  Keform  Club,  where 
Palmerston  presided,  were  scandalous  and  vulgar. 

c  The   publication  of  Hamilton  Seymour's  Conversations 

12  Eussland,  DeutscMand,  und  die  Oestliche  Frage,  von  Gustav  Diezel.  Stutt 
gart,  1853.  The  Prince  does  not  seem  to  have  carried  out  his  intention  to 
have  this  very  able  pamphlet  translated.  It  would  have  been  of  great  use 
towards  making  the  complications  of  the  Eastern  Question  well  understood, 
and  would  have  been  probably  more  useful  in  1876  than  in  1853. 


4S  SIR  H.   SEYMOURS  CONVERSATIONS  1854 

with  the  Emperor  of  All  the  Russias,  which  the  Journal 
de  Petersbourg  has  forced  upon  us,  will  no  doubt  produce 
a  great  sensation  on  the  Continent.  The  Emperor's  dis 
honesty  could  not  portray  itself  in  more  glaring  colours,3 
nor  his  disparaging  estimate  of  the  Grerman  Powers. 

'Buckingham  Palace,  23rd  March,  1834.' 

The  celebrated  '  Conversations '  here  mentioned  by  the 
Prince  might  long  have  been  confined  to  the  official  archives, 
but  for  the  article  in  the  Journal  de  St.-Petersbourg  on 
the  2nd  of  March,  which  obviously  emanated  from  the 
Imperial  Chancery.  It  professed  to  be  an  answer  to  the  im 
putation  of  bad  faith  on  the  part  of  the  Russian  Govern 
ment,  which  had  been  made  by  Lord  John  Russell,  in  a  speech 
in  Parliament  on  the  17th  of  February.  To  this  charge  the 
confidential  communications  between  the  Governments  were 
appealed  to  as  giving  an  absolute  negative.  So  challenged, 
the  Government  was  absolved  from  the  well-understood  rule 
which  bound  them  to  confine  the  knowledge  of  such  confi 
dential  communications  to  the  Cabinet  itself.  They  could 
have  desired  nothing  better  than  to  have  their  hands 
set  free,  for  the  documents,  while  they  proved,  in  Lord 
Clarendon's  words,4  that  our  Ministry  had  been  '  honest  to 
the  Sultan,  honest  to  our  Allies,  honest  to  the  Emperor 
himself,'  furnished  a  conclusive  answer  to  the  vehement 
assertions  of  their  opponents,  that  they  had  wavered  in  their 
policy,  and  had  allowed  themselves  to  be  hoodwinked  by 
the  devices  of  Russian  diplomacy.  If  they  had  been  back 
ward  in  recognising  all  the  dangers  of  the  situation,  it  was 
now  seen,  that  this  was  due  solely  to  the  assurances,  of 

9  What  would  the  v/orld  have  thought,  could  it  have  known  that  before 
feeling  the  pul«e  of  the  English  Ambassador  as  to  the  dismemberment  of 
Turkey,  the  ?]mperor  had  made  similar  overtures  to  Austria,  and  with  equal 
want  of  success?  Our  Government  was  not  aware  of  this  till  long  afterwards. 

4  In  his  speech  (31st  March)  on  moving  the  Address  in  answer  to  the  Queen's 
message,  announcing  the  cessation  of  friendly  relations  with  Kussia. 


i854  WITH  EMPEROR   OF  RUSSIA.  49 

the  most  positive  character,  given  by  the  Emperor  himself, 
that  he  would  take  no  decisive  step  in  regard  to  Turkey  of 
which  England  should  not  previously  have  been  apprised. 
In  the  Imperial  Memorandum,  which  closed  the  series  of 
documents  referred  to.  the  Emperor  professed  his  ready  con 
currence  in  the  English  view,  i  that  the  best  means  of  up 
holding  the  duration  of  the  Turkish  Grovernment  was  not  to 
harass  it  by  overbearing  demands,  supported  in  a  manner 
humiliating  to  its  independence  and  dignity.'  The  Memo 
randum  was  dated  the  15th  of  April,  1853  ;  but  at  the  very 
moment  when  the  Emperor  was  holding  this  language  to 
our  representative  at  St.  Petersburg,  Prince  Menschikorf 
was  trying  by  threats  at  Constantinople  to  extort  from  the 
Porte  a  secret  treaty,  which  Lord  Stratford  de  Kedcliffe,  in 
transmitting  a  copy  of  it  to  our  Foreign  Office,  aptly 
described,  as  having  for  its  object  '  to  reinstate  Russian 
influence  in  Turkey  on  an  exclusive  basis,  and  in  a  com 
manding  and  stringent  form.' 

Read  by  the  light  of  what  had  since  occurred,  there 
seemed  to  be  no  doubt,  that  the  plans  for  disposing  of  'the 
dying  man's '  inheritance  were  rapidly  maturing,  at  the  very 
time  that  our  Grovernment  were  being  amused  with  a  show  of 
absolute  confidence.  An  immense  body  of  men  had  been 
moved  up  towards  the  Principalities  in  the  beginning  of 
1853,  with  a  view,  it  was  given  out,  to  support  Turkey  in 
the  event  of  any  attempt  by  France  at  coercion,  and  this 
very  force  was  now  occupying  them  as  a  '  material  guarantee  ' 
for  the  fulfilment  of  Russia's  demands.  The  idea  of  Con 
stantinople  passing  into  the  hands  of  Russia  was  plainly  seen 
to  have  taken  possession  of  the  Emperor's  mind.  He  pro 
fessed  his  readiness  to  pledge  himself  not  to  establish  himself 
there  c  as  proprietor,  of  course  ;  but  as  trustee  (deposiiaire),— 
that  he  would  not  say.' 

This  was  a  fine  distinction,  which  might  very  readily  be 

VOL.  III.  E 


50  FEELING  IN  EUROPE   ON   OPINIONS  1854 

forgotten,  should  any  question  of  dislodgment  arise,  especially 
as  the  Emperor,  with  marked  emphasis,  had  declared  that  it 
'  should  never  be  held  by  the  English  or  French,  or  any 
other  great  nation.'  By  whom,  then  ?  For  he  was  equally 
resolved  that  a  Byzantine  empire  should  not  be  reconstructed  ; 
nor  Greece  '  extended  so  as  to  render  her  a  powerful  State ; ' 
nor  Turkey  broken  up  into  '  little  republics,  asylums  for  the 
Kossuths  and  Mazzinis  and  other  revolutionists  of  Europe.' 
In  the  same  breath  he  spoke  of  the  Principalities  as  being 
'  in  fact  an  independent  State  under  his  protection,'  and  that 
Servia  and  Bulgaria  might  be  placed  in  the  same  position. 
Carried  further  in  these  revelations  of  a  well-considered  pur 
pose  than  he  may  at  first  have  intended,  the  Emperor  had, 
in  the  same  interview,  hinted  at  propitiating  England,  by  an 
intimation  that  if, '  in  the  event  of  a  distribution  of  the  Otto 
man  succession  upon  the  fall  of  the  empire,'  we  should  seize 
Egypt  and  Candia,  he  would  '  have  no  objections  to  offer.' 

To  such  suggestions  it  was  only  to  be  expected  that  the 
English  Government  could  lend  no  countenance,  and  if  they 
discussed  them,  as  Lord  Clarendon  remarked  in  the  speech 
already  referred  to,  it  was  because  they  wished  to  avert  the 
danger  of  the  dismemberment  of  Turkey,  and  to  bring  the 
Emperor  to  their  own  view,  that  Turkey  would  do  very  well, 
if  left  to  herself,  and  helped  and  stimulated  towards  needful 
reforms.  '  We  fully  discussed  his  arguments  ;  we  gave  our 
reasons  for  thinking  the  dissolution  of  the  Ottoman  Empire 
was  not  at  hand  ;  we  declared  that  we  would  not  be  a  party 
to  any  underhand  dealings,  and  that  we  would  have  no 
secrets  from  our  allies  ;  we  dismissed  with  something  like 
silent  contempt  the  offer  of  a  territorial  bribe,  and  we  pointed 
out  to  the  Emperor  the  course  that  he  ought  to  pursue.' 

The  deep  impression  produced  by  the  publication  of  these 
papers  was  not  confined  to  England,  but  was  felt  throughout 
the  Continent.  They  showed  to  Austria,  to  Prussia,  and  to 


1 8 54  OF   THE  CZAR  BECOMING  KNOWN.  51 

France,  how  loyally  we  had  refused  to  separate  their  interests 
from  our  own,  and  they  could  better  appreciate  this  loyalty, 
knowing  as  they  did  how  vigorously  Russia  had  been 
intriguing  at  their  various  Courts  for  many  months  to  detach 
them  from  the  English  alliance.5  The  publication  was  indeed 
most  opportune  in  cementing  the  union  with  France ;  and  it 
was  not  without  its  effect  upon  the  future  action  of  Austria 
and  Prussia.  Austria  saw  with  indignation  that  her  sub 
mission  to  the  designs  of  Russia  was  taken  for  granted,  and 
Prussia,  that  she  was  not  even  thought  worthy  of  mention 
by  the  Emperor  in  reference  to  what  was  in  fact  the  most 
important  of  all  European  questions.  Austria  showed  her 
sense  of  danger  by  at  once  placing  her  army  on  a  war  footing, 
and  preparing  to  move  up  large  reinforcements  to  the 
frontier.  Prussia,  we  have  seen,  had  declared  herself  neutral, 
but  if  Austria  threw  herself  into  the  struggle  along  with  the 


5  On  the  24th  of  March,  Lord  Howard  de  Walden  writes  to  Lord  Clarendon 
from  Brussels :  'The  French  could  hardly  believe  their  eyes  when  they  saw 
such  evidence  of  our  honesty  and  loyalty  towards  France,  and  I  hear  that  the 
remark  very  generally  made  was,  "  that  there  was  an  end  of  la  perfide  Albion," 
that  no  one  could  again  use  that  hackneyed  and  ill-merited  definition  of 
England.  Here  the  impression  is  astonishment  at  the  folly  of  Russia  in  pro 
voking  the  publication.  This  is  natural,  from  their  Russian  bias.' 

The  French  Government  had  some  reason  to  be  surprised  at  the  revela 
tions  of  Russian  tactics,  and  they  lost  no  time  in  making  their  representatives 
throughout  Europe  aware,  that,  from  the  moment  Russia  saw  that  England 
would  not  fall  in  with  her  views,  she  had  tried  to  sow  discord  between  England 
and  France.  Prince  G-ortschakoff  had,  in  November  1853,  proposed  to  Count 
Beam,  the  French  Minister  at  Stuttgart,  a  solution  of  the  Eastern  Question  by 
means  of  an  understanding  between  Russia  and  France.  In  the  course  of  what 
passed  Prince  Gortschakoff  had  declared,  that  he  knew  England  would  throw 
over  the  Eastern  Question  as  soon  as  she  had  got  France  fairly  committed. 
'  Elle  vans  aura  tout  simplement  aides  a  v»us  compromettrc,  et  vous  laissera 
tons  les  embarras  d'nnc  position  faitsse  et  difficile.  Nous  avons  tons  a  nous 
plaindre  de  cettc.  Puissance.  Qucl  bon  tour  a  lui  jouer  que  de  nous  arranger  sans 
file  1  Croyez-moi!  Mefiez-vous  de  la  perfide  Albion  /'  This  language,  and  much 
more  to  the  same  effect,  Prince  Gortschakoff  stated  that  he  was  officially 
authorised  to  hold.  '  I  need  not  say,'  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  writes  in  the 
Circular  Note,  from  which  our  quotations  are  made,  'that  our  loyalty  towards 
England  and  towards  Europe  forbade  us  to  lend  an  ear  to  these  insinuations.' 

£2 


52  AUSTRIA   AND   PRUSSIA.  1854 

Western  Powers,  it  seemed  impossible  that  Prussia  should 
long  continue  to  hold  aloof,  without  danger  to  her  own 
position  in  Germany. 

While,  however,  Prussia  refused  to  make  common  cause 
with  the  other  Powers,  the  position  of  Austria  was  a  difficult 
one.  Writing  to  the  Prince  on  the  26th  of  March,  Lord 
Clarendon  says  :  — 

'  The  position  of  Austria  is  very  embarrassing,  and  she  may 
certainly  have  to  encounter  Russian  dangers  and  German  diffi 
culties,  if  she  takes  an  active  part  with  England  and  France, 
and  Prussia  is  unfettered  by  any  engagement,  and  free  to  attack 
her,  or  intrigue  against  her.  I  expect,  therefore,  that  she  will 
hesitate  to  sign  either  the  Convention  or  the  Protocol,  and  it 
seems  a  matter  of  doubtful  policy  whether  she  should  be  urged 
to  do  so,  which  is  the  course  to  which  the  French  Government 
are  inclined.  I  should  be  grateful,  if  your  Royal  Highness 
would  favour  me  with  your  opinion  upon  this  important  point.' 

To  this  letter  the  Prince  replied,  next  day: — 'I  don't 
think  that  Austria  has  anything  to  fear  from  Prussia  or 
Germany  if  she  were  to  take  an  active  part  in  the  war 
together  with  us.  The  peculiarities  of  the  Prussian  Govern 
ment  and  Court  are  strong  in  destroying  and  impeding  a 
bold  and  consistent  policy,  but  not  for  originating  and  fol 
lowing  one — vide  1848-1854.  The  King  personally  will 
never  injure  Austria  if  he  can  help  it,  and  the  patriotic  liberal 
party  is  powerless  if  Austria  goes  with  the  West,  and  the 
national  feeling  in  Germany  and  Prussia  hangs  back  in 
favour  of  Russia.  The  small  German  Courts  may  dislike 
seeing  Austria  engaged  against  Russia,  but  chiefly  so  from 
a  fear  of  being  abandoned  to  the  mercy  of  Prussia.  I  can 
accordingly  see  no  element  which  could  make  Prussia 
dangerous  to  Austria  in  the  supposed  contingency.'  The 
Prince  then  directs  Lord  Clarendon's  attention  to  the  ex 
istence  of  a  secret  treaty  between  Austria  and  Prussia, 


1854  RUSSIAN  INTRIGUES  IN  GREECE.  53 

dated  the  3rd  of  May,  1851,  which,  although  he  had  never 
seen  it,  he  had  always  considered  to  be  'the  key  to  the 
relative  positions  of  Austria  and  Prussia.'  The  treaty  was 
understood  to  be  on  the  point  of  expiring.  '  Should  it  be 
renewed  Prussia  would  be  bound  to  defend  Austria,  if  at 
tacked  or  endangered  in  any  of  her  non-German  dominions. 
.  .  .  Lord  Westmoreland'  [our  Ambassador  at  Vienna]  '  ought 
to  ascertain  the  real  facts  about  this  treaty,  and  until  these 
are  obtained,  we  should,  in  my  opinion,  not  attempt  to  drive 
Austria  into  a  corner,  but  merely  generally  exhort  her  to 
back  us  in  a  cause  which  is  her  own,  and  for  which  we  are 
making  real  sacrifices.' 

On  the  29th  of  January,  1853,  the  Emperor  Nicholas  had 
told  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour  that  he  would  '  never  permit 
such  an  extension  of  Greece  as  would  render  her  a  powerful 
State  ; '  but  within  a  few  months  of  that  time  his  agents 
were  busily  at  work,  agitating  secretly  for  a  general  move 
ment  of  the  Greeks  upon  the  Turkish  frontier,  and  preparing 
them  for  a  war,  which  they  were  led  to  believe  would 
terminate  '  not  in  a  kingdom  of  Greece,  but  in  the  Hel 
lenic  Empire  of  the  East.'  The  familiar  pretext  of  a 
Christian  crusade  was  put  forward  in  the  Greek  Government 
paper,  where  the  Christian  Powers  were  violently  denounced 
'  as  alone  keeping  alive  the  anti-Christian  and  monstrous 
tyranny  of  Turkey,'  which  must  be  made  to  give  way  for  'the 
Hellenic  Empire,  which  was  inevitably  to  replace  it  under 
the  invincible  arms  of  Russia.'  6  In  proportion  as  the  deter 
mination  of  Eussia  to  hold  the  Principalities  became  more 
pronounced,  the  insurrectionary  movement  in  Greece  gained 
a  head.  It  had  the  secret  sanction  of  the  Court,  which  was 
Russian  to  the  core.  Regiments  were  accordingly  allowed 
to  be  organised,  and  officers  of  high  rank  in  the  Greek  army 

•  Despatch  of  Mr.  Wyse  from  Athens,  7th  of  April,  1853. 


54  SUPPRESSION  OF  GREEK  RISING.  1854 

made  a  pretence  of  resigning  their  commissions,  and  repaired 
to  the  frontier  to  place  themselves  at  the  head  of  the  insur 
gents.  A  barbarous  and  sanguinary  warfare  raged  along  the 
Turkish  frontier. 

During  March  1854  a  Despatch,  dated  the  2nd  of  that 
month,  addressed  by  Count  Nesselrode  to  the  representatives 
of  Eussia  abroad,  and  in  which  the  active  support  of  Eussia 
with  the  movement  was  promised,  was  widely  circulated  in 
Greece,  and  for  a  time  kept  alive  a  struggle  which  had 
hitherto  produced  only  desolation  and  havoc  alike  to  Turks 
and  to  Greeks.  But  the  Montenegrins,  Servians,  and  Bul 
garians,  who  had  been  counted  on  to  join  in  the  insurrection, 
refused  to  move,  while  Eussia  was  held  at  bay  upon  the  Danube 
by  the  Turks,  and  could  not  fulfil  her  promises  of  help.  It  was 
felt  that  the  time  had  come  to  strike  at  the  source  of  the 
evil,  and  by  compelling  King  Otho  to  withdraw  his  secret 
support  from  the  insurgents,  to  put  an  end  to  the  miseries 
of  the  wretched  populations,  who  were  being  sacrificed  to  an 
insane  ambition.  Accordingly  the  coasts  of  Greece  were  put 
under  blockade,  and  9,000  French  and  English  troops 
landed  and  encamped  between  Athens  and  the  Piraeus. 
Finally,  the  Allied  Governments  addressed  an  Ultimatum  to 
the  Greek  Government,  calling  upon  them  to  observe  a  strict 
neutrality  towards  Turkey  ;  and  six  hours  only  were  allowed  for 
an  answer.  The  Cabinet  immediately  resigned ;  but  the 
signature  of  the  King  to  the  required  declaration  was  ac 
cepted  as  sufficient.  A  new  Cabinet  was  formed,  and  the 
Allied  forces  remained  for  some  time  to  support  them  in  their 
efforts  to  restore  tranquillity.  The  officers  who  had  joined 
the  insurgents  returned  to  bead-quarters,  and  by  degrees  the 
insurrection  died  completely  out. 

In  the  following  letter  to  his  old  friend  at  Coburg,  the 
Prince  deals  with  the  argument,  which  was  current  in  some 
diplomatic  circles,  that  we  should  have  let  Eussia  overthrow 


1854     PRINCE   CONSORT  TO  BARON  STOCKMAR.         55 

the  Turkish  Empire,  and  have  been  content  with  taking 
guarantees,  that  she  should  not  do  so  to  the  prejudice  of  the 
other  European  States  : — 

'  I  owe  you  my  best  thanks  for  two  kind  letters.  Fischer's 
letter  contains  everything  that  can  be  said  from  the  point 
of  view  of  one  who  desires  that  neutrality  should  be  main 
tained,  and  also  certain  individual  truths,  which  neverthe 
less  do  not  comprise  the  whole  truth,  and  especially  take  no 
account  of  the  motives  by  which  a  nation  should  be  actuated  ! 
The  extracts  transmitted  with  your  letter  of  the  12th  show 
very  clearly  what  a  terrible  state  things  are  in  in  Berlin. 
This  is  beginning  to  be  comprehended  here,  and  has  evoked 
a  contempt  for  the  King  and  his  Government,  which  is  the 
worst  calamity  that  can  befall  a  great  State.  I  am  much 
pleased  that  you  like  Victoria's  letter.7  There  is  now  no  longer 
any  excuse  to  be  made  on  the  ground  of  ignorance  of  the  truth. 

4  In  regard  to  the  reproaches  cast  upon  England  from 
so  many  quarters  for  her  narrowness  of  heart  and  short 
sightedness — that  it  ought  to  have  been  foreseen  that  the 
Greeks  would  rise,  that  the  Turkish  supremacy  cannot  be 
upheld,  and  that  the  fanatic  Osmanlis  would  rather  come 
to  terms  with  Russia  than  be  forced  to  admit  Christians  to 
an  equal  footing  with  the  Turks — that  she  should  therefore 
have  rather  looked  calmly  on  at  the  overthrow  of  the  Turkish 
Empire  by  Russia,  with  the  view  of  thereupon  taking  so 
energetic  a  part  in  the  European  solution  of  the  Hereditary 
question,  that  this  overthrow  could  not  have  resulted  to  the 
advantage  of  Russia,  I  have  merely  to  reply,  that  we  did 
foresee  all  this  very  distinctly,  but  that  a  popular  Grovern 
ment  cannot  cany  on  a  policy  which  has  apparent  con 
tradictions  within  itself  that  are  only  to  be  reconciled  by 
time,  and  one  portion  of  which  is  to  receive  its  complement 
from  the  other  at  a  distant  stage.  The  overthrow  of  Turkey 

7  The  letter  to  the  King  of  Prussia  above  quoted,  p.  42. 


56  WHY  ENGLAND    WENT   TO    WAR.  1854 

by  Russia  no  English  statesman  could  view  with  equanimity  ; 
public  opinion  would  have  flung  him  to  the  winds  like  chaff, 
and  no  reliance  could  be  placed  on  such  far-seeing',  long- 
calculated,  two-sided  policy,  with  changes  of  Ministry  and 
Parliamentary  majorities  at  home,  and  more  especially  with 
combinations  on  the  Continent,  in  which  no  confidence 
could  be  placed.  We  must  live  from  day  to  day,  but  while 
we  cleave  as  we  best  can  to  the  self-consistent  and  im 
pregnable  principle  of  justice,  I  feel  confident  that,  what 
ever  phases  may  present  themselves,  we  shall  not  upon  the 
whole  fail  to  deal  with  them  wisely.  Russia  has  done 
Turkey  wrong,  we  must  therefore  procure  redress  for  her  ; 
King  Otho  and  the  Greeks  have  done  Turkey  wrong,  we 
must  therefore  oppose  him.  France  is  minded  to  do  battle 
for  the  right,  we  are  therefore  allies  with  France  in  war  by 
sea  and  land;  Prussia  and  Austria  have  acknowledged  the 
right,  on  paper  at  least,  and  therefore  we  sit  in  conference 
with  them,  &c.  &c. 

4  Here  in  our  home  affairs  we  have  had  another  crisis 
produced  by  the  difference  between  Palmerston  and  Lord 
John  about  Reform,  which  threatened  for  a  time  to  break  up 
the  Ministry.  This  is  now  postponed,  at  least  till  next 
Chrisitmas  ;  for  which  date  Palmerston  declares  he  will 
continue  his  opposition  to  that  Reform,  which  he  has  now 
for  the  third  time  allowed  to  be  promised  to  Parliament  by 
Lord  John  in  his  presence.  Lord  John  is  furious ;  but 
Palmerston  continues  to  be  the  popular  man,  and  the  only 
national  and  liberal  Minister  !  !  Aberdeen  behaves  in  the 
same  high-minded,  courageous,  and  conciliatory  spirit  he 
has  always  shown,  but  he  has  no  end  of  troubles.8  At  home 
all  is  well ;  the  children  make  steady  progress. 

8  On  14th  of  April,  1854,  the  Queen  writes  to  Lord  Aberdeen  :  '  We  must  all 
feel  that  we  owe  the  settlement  of  these  alarming  difficulties  to  that  great  spirit 
of  fairness,  justice,  and  unflinching  singleness  of  purpose,  and  rare  unselfishness, 
M-hich  so  eminently  distinguish  our  kind  and  valued  friend  Lord  Aberdeen.' 


1 854      MR.    GLADSTONE'S  FIRST   WAR  BUDGET.          57 

4  The  next  party  conflict  in  the  House  of  Commons  will 
be  upon  Finance.  Gladstone  wants  to  pay  for  the  war  out 
of  current  revenue,  so  long  as  he  does  not  require  more  than 
ten  millions  sterling  above  the  ordinary  expenditure,  and  to 
increase  the  taxes  for  the  purpose.  The  Opposition  are  for 
borrowing — that  is,  increasing  the  debt — and  do  not  wish 
to  impose  in  the  meantime  any  further  burdens  on  them 
selves.  The  former  course  is  manly,  statesmanlike,  and 
honest,  the  latter  is  convenient,  cowardly,  perhaps  popular. 
S"ous  verrons  ! 

'Windsor  Castle,  18th  April,  1854.' 

Mr.  Gladstone  brought  forward  his  War  Budget  on  the 
8th  of  May,  by  which  he  proposed  to  double  the  Income  Tax, 
and  by  the  returns  from  this  source,  and  an  increased  duty 
on  spirits  and  malt,  to  bring  up  the  revenue  to  the  level  of 
what  was  required  to  meet  the  increased  expenditure  for  the 
year.  The  country  was  prosperous,  and  manufacturers  busy. 
'  Such  is  the  vigour,  and  such  the  elasticity  of  our  trade,' 
said  Mr.  Gladstone,  at  the  close  of  the  masterly  speech  with 
which  he  introduced  his  Budget,  '  that  even  under  the  dis 
advantage  of  a  bad  harvest,  and  under  the  pressure  of  war, 
the  imports  from  day  to  day,  and  almost  from  hour  to  hour, 
are  increasing,  and  the  very  last  papers  laid  on  the  table 
show  that  within  the  last  three  months  of  the  year  there  were 
250,000^.  increase  in  your  exports.'  To  have  shrunk  in  such 
propitious  circumstances  from  charging  upon  the  revenues  of 
the  year  the  abnormal  expenditure  caused  by  the  war,  would 
have  been  indeed  '  cowardly,'  and  the  result  proved  that 
Mr.  Gladstone  had  rightly  understood  the  feeling  of  the 
country  in  appealing  to  them  not  to  adopt  this  course. 


CHAPTER   LIV. 

THE  Debate  in  both  Houses  (31st  March),  on  the  Address  in 
answer  to  Her  Majesty's  message,  announcing  the  opening  of 
war  with  Russia,  was  worthy  of  so  great  and  solemn  an 
occasion.  Whatever  differences  existed  as  to  the  previous 
action  of  the  Ministry  were  buried  in  the  general  determi 
nation  to  support  them  in  carrying  the  struggle  to  a  successful 
close.  In  the  House  of  Commons  the  eloquence  of  Mr.  Bright, 
proclaiming  that  his  friends  and  himself  regarded  the  war  as 
neither  just  nor  necessary,  was  listened  to  with  unusual 
coldness,  while  the  reply  of  Lord  Palmerston,  clear  in  its 
statement  of  the  interests,  national  and  European,  which  were 
at  stake,  and  vibrating  with  the  ring  of  patriotic  feeling  in 
which  he  was  never  wanting,  was  received  with  vehement 
cheers  and  welcomed  throughout  the  country  as  a  true  echo 
of  the  national  sentiment.1 

By  this  time  the  gravity  of  the  task  on  which  we  had 
embarked  had  begun  to  be  in  some  measure  appreciated ;  but 
there  was  no  disposition  to  look  back  or  to  shrink  from  the 
sacrifices  with  which  alone  the  most  sanguine  now  saw  that 
success  could  be  purchased.  Before  the  debate  began  in  the 
House  of  Lords,  Lord  Aberdeen  stated,  in  reply  to  a  question 
by  the  Earl  of  Roden,  that  it  was  proposed  to  set  apart  a  Day 
of  Humiliation  and  Prayer  for  the  success  of  our  arms  by  sea 

1  The  Addresses  were  presented  to  the  Queen  on  the  3rd  of  April,  both 
Houses  being  represented  by  unusually  large  numbers.  On  this  occasion  the 
Prince  of  Wales  took  his  place,  for  the  first  time,  beside  the  Queen  and  Prince 
xipon  the  throne. 


1 854  DAY  OF  HUMILIATION.  59 

and  land.     This  led  to  the  following  letter  (1st  April)  to 
Lord  Aberdeen  from  the  Queen  : — 

•* 

'  The  Queen  rejoices  to  see  the  debate  was  so  favourable 
in  the  House  of  Lords,  and  that  it  was  concluded  in  the 
House  of  Commons, 

6  fehe  is  rather  startled  at  seeing  Lord  Aberdeen's  answer 
to  Lord  Eoden  upon  the  subject  of  a  Day  of  Humiliation,  as 
he  has  never  mentioned  the  subject  to  her,  and  it  is  one 
upon  which  she  feels  strongly.  The  only  thing  the  Queen 
ever  heard  about  it  was  from  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  who 
suggested  the  possibility  of  an  appropriate  Prayer  being 
introduced  into  the  Liturgy,  in  which  the  Queen  quite 
agreed ;  but  he  was  strongly  against  a  Day  of  Humiliation, 
in  which  the  Queen  also  entirely  agreed,  as  she  thinks  we 
have  recourse  to  them  far  too  often,  and  they  thereby  lose 
all  effect.  The  Queen  therefore  hopes  that  this  will  be 
reconsidered  carefully,  and  a  Prayer  substituted  for  the  Day 
of  Humiliation. 

'  Were  the  services  selected  for  these  days  of  a  different 
kind  from  what  they  are,  the  Queen  would  feel  less  strongly 
about  it ;  but  they  always  select  chapters  from  the  Old 
Testament  and  Psalms,  which  are  so  totally  inapplicable  that 
all  the  effect  such  occasions  ought  to  have  is  entirely  done 
away  with.  Moreover,  to  say  (as  we  probably  should)  that 
the  great  sin  fulness  of  the -nation  has  brought  about  this  war, 
when  it  is  the  selfishness  and  ambition  and  want  of  honesty 
of  one  man  and  his  servants  which  has  done  it,  while  our 
conduct  throughout  has  been  actuated  by  unselfishness  and 
honesty,  would  be  too  manifestly  repulsive  to  the  feelings  of 
every  one,  and  would  be  a  mere  bit  of  hypocrisy.  Let  there 
be  a  Prayer  expressive  of  our  great  thankfulness  for  the 
immense  benefits  we  have  enjoyed,  and  for  the  immense 
prosperity  of  the  country,  and  entreating  God's  help  and 


60  LETTER  BY  THE   QUEEN.  1854 

protection  in  the  coming  struggle.  In  this  the  Queen 
would  join  heart  and  soul.  If  there  is  to  be  a  day  set  apart, 
let  it  be  for  prayer  in  this  sense.' 

The  tenor  of  precedents  was  adduced  in  answer  to  the 
remonstrances  of  Her  Majesty  against  the  name  to  be  given 
to  the  day  of  national  prayer ;  and  a  few  days  later  she  recurs 
to  the  subject  in  writing  to  Lord  Aberdeen : — 

'  12th  April,  1854. 

4  The  Queen  had  meant  to  speak  to  Lord  Aberdeen  yester 
day  about  this  day  of  "  Prayer  and  Supplication,"  as  she 
particularly  wishes  it  should  be  called,  and  not  "  Fast  and 
Humiliation,"  as  after  a  calamity.  Surely  it  should  not  be 
a  day  of  mourning.  The  Queen  spoke  very  strongly  about 
it  to  the  Archbishop,  and  urged  great  care  in  the  selection 
of  the  service.  Would  Lord  Aberdeen  inculcate  the  Queen's 
wishes  into  the  Archbishop's  mind,  that  there  be  no  Jewish 
imprecations  against  our  enemies,  &c.,  but  an  earnest 
expression  of  thankfulness  to  the  Almighty  for  the  immense 
blessings  we  have  enjoyed,  as  well  as  of  entreaty  for  protec 
tion  of  our  forces  by  land  and  sea,  and  to  ourselves  in  the 
coming  struggle  ?  If  Lord  Aberdeen  will  look  at  the  service 
to  be  used  at  sea,  he  will  find  a  beautiful  prayer,  "  To  be 
used  before  a  Fight  at  Sea,"  which  the  Queen  thinks  (as  well 
as  other  portions  of  that  fine  service)  would  be  very  appli 
cable  to  the  occasion,  as  there  is  no  mention  of  the  sea.' 

The  wish  here  so  strongly  expressed  as  to  the  character  of 
the  services  to  be  used  on  the  day  of  solemn  Fast,  Humiliation, 
and  Prayer,  was  carried  out.  Like  the  beautiful  prayer  re 
ferred  to  by  the  Queen,  they  were  conceived  in  the  spirit  of 
devout  humility,  which,  while  believing  its  quarrel  to  be  just, 
places  the  issues  of  the  struggle  in  His  hands,  who  '  sitteth  in 
the  throne  judging  right,'  with  the  prayer  that  He  will  take 


i854  DUCHESS  DOWAGER   OF  COBURG.  61 

the  cause  of  the  suppliants  *  into  His  own  hand,  and  judge 
between  them  and  their  enemies.'  In  this  way  they  met  the 
feelings  of  the  nation,  by  whom  the  day  (26th  April)  was 
observed,  not  in  form  merely,  but  with  the  seriousness  be 
fitting  a  nation  on  the  eve  of  a  conflict  in  which  momentous 
issues  were  at  stake,  and  by  which  the  happiness  of  many 
homes  was  certain  to  be  darkened.2 

Linked  as  the  reigning  families  of  Europe  are  by  the  ties 
of  affinity  or  marriage,  an  European  war,  by  the  disturbance 
of  many  friendly  personal  relations,  brings  private  sorrows  to 
their  members,  in  addition  to  those  which  they  suffer  in 
common  with  their  subjects.  Correspondence  is  either 
broken  off,  or  continued  only  on  the  footing  that  topics 
are  never  touched,  which  yet  are  known  to  be  uppermost  in 
the  writers'  minds.  The  Prince's  stepmother,  the  Dowager 
Duchess  of  Coburg,  was  the  daughter  of  Duke  Alexander  of 
Wiirtemberg,  brother  of  the  Emperor  of  Russia's  mother,  and 
had  been  born  and  brought  up  in  Russia.  Naturally  her 
sympathies  were  with  the  Russians,  and  for  some  time  the 
Prince's  letters  to  her  had  been  less  numerous  than  usual. 
On  resuming  his  correspondence  with  her,  he  thus  clears 
himself  of  the  embarrassment,  which  the  difference  in  their 
political  sympathies  might  otherwise  have  occasioned : — 

( .  .  .  Since  I  last  wrote,'  he  says,  '  the  wicked  world  has 
gone  deeper  into  wrangling  and  strife,  and  war  is  now  formally 
declared,  and  will  be  formally  begun.  I  feel  for  you,  for  I  can 
understand  and  forgive  your  heart  for  being  Russian.  All  I 
ask  in  return  is  that  you  will  grant  me  your  forgiveness,  that 

2  The  day  was  also  kept  with  great  solemnity  in  our  North- American 
colonies.  In  the  "West  Indies  a  day  was  also  devoted  to  the  same  object,  and 
in  India  the  16th  of  July  was  set  apart  for  the  same  purpose  by  the  inhabi 
tants,  both  European  and  native,  and  observed  with  such  unanimity  and 
fervour,  that  the  Government  acknowledged  in  a  public  document  its  satisfac 
tion  at  the  general  manifestation  of  loyalty  and  attachment. 


62  INDIGNATION  OF   THE  PRINCE  1854 

mine  is  exactly  the  reverse,  and  that  it  even  anticipates  the 
just  punishment  of  Heaven  upon  the  Emperor  for  the  em 
broilment  into  which  he  has  thrown  Europe  by  his  wilfulness 
and  obstinacy  !  This  much  I  will  say  to  vindicate  my  own 
honour :  for  the  future  I  will  hold  my  peace,  and  not  allow 
the  strife,  which  unhappily  has  already  caused  so  much 
misery  in  the  world,  to  intrude  with  its  disquieting  conse 
quences  into  the  unity,  love,  and  peace  of  our  family  also,  as 
I  have,  I  grieve  to  say,  already  seen  it  do  in  many  families. 

<  If  there  were  a  Germany  and  a  German  Sovereign  in 
Berlin,  it  could  never  have  happened. 

'  Buckingham  Palace.  28th  April,  1854.' 

How  strongly  the  Prince  felt  as  to  the  conduct  of  the 
King  of  Prussia,  his  letters  have  already  shown.  His  feeling 
of  indignation  was  deepened  by  every  fresh  report  which 
reached  him  of  the  state  of  things  in  Berlin.  The  King 
allowed  himself  to  be  a  mere  tool  in  the  hands  of  Russia, 
and,  in  concert  with  the  Princes  of  the  smaller  kingdoms  of 
Clermany,  was  doing  his  utmost  to  paralyse  the  action  of 
Austria,  who  had  shown  a  disposition  to  take  an  active  part 
on  the  side  of  the  Western  Powers. 

The  dominant  influence  of  Russian  counsels  was  soon 
afterwards  made  apparent  by  the  dismissal  from  the  King's 
service  of  all  the  men — Bunsen,  General  Bonin  and  others — 
who  had  made  themselves  obnoxious  to  the  Czar  by  their 
known  antagonism  to  his  policy  in  Turkey.  These  changes 
were  effected  by  the  King  without  communication  with  the 
Crown  Prince  his  brother,  to  whom  they  were  so  distasteful 
that  he  left  Berlin  for  Baden-Baden,  urging  the  necessities 
of  his  health  as  a  reason.3  On  the  rumour — false,  as  after- 

a  The  King  of  Prussia,  feeling  that  some  explanation  of  such  conduct,  at  a 
time  when  he  professed  the  warmest  friendship  for  England,  was  due  to  this 
country,  wrote  to  the  Queen  (24th  May),  at  very  great  length,  to  justify  his 


1 854  AT  POLICY  OF  PRUSSIA.  63 

wards  appeared — that  the  Crown  Prince  had  been  deprived 
of  his  command,  to  which  this  incident  gave  rise,  reaching 
the  Prince,  he  wrote  (13th  May)  to  Baron  Stockmar:  'The 
news  has  just  reached  me  that  the  Prince  has  been  deprived 
of  his  command,  and  that  the  Eussian  party  do  not  despair 
of  bringing  about  a  rupture  between  Prussia  and  France, 
and  of  Eussia  engaging  Germany  on  her  side?  Will  the 
Lord  show  long  suffering  for  ever,  and  not  at  once  send 
down  his  thunderbolts  from  heaven  ?  ' 

The  Baron  had  correspondents  in  Berlin,  who  kept  him 
well  informed  of  the  intrigues  which  were  on  foot  at  the 
Court  there.  Eeplying  to  one  of  his  letters,  in  which  he  had 
forwarded  some  important  details  which  had  reached  him 
through  this  channel,  the  Prince  writes  :— 

'Your  letter  of  the  16th,  with  its  enclosure,  has  reached 
me  safely.  I  am  very  grateful  to  you  for  this  contribution 
of  materials  towards  an  accurate  estimate  of  the  present 
most  perplexing  and  critical  aspect  of  affairs.  I  have  let 
Lord  Clarendon  also  have  a  peep  into  this  abyss.  I  cannot 
sufficiently  praise  him  in  this  affair  for  his  unremitting 
exertions  and  his  friendly  way  of  conducting  business. 
Without  his  restless  activity  and  temperate  and  conciliatory 
spirit,  the  different  unthankful  elements  would  never  have 

proceedings.  From  the  reply  of  Her  Majesty  we  translate  one  passage  : — 
'  One  thing  only  there  is  which  forces  me  to  speak  out  my  heart  to  yon,  and  it 
is  this— that  the  men  with  whom  you  have  broken  were  loyal,  truthful  ser 
vants,  devoted  to  you  with  no  ordinary  warmth  of  attachment;  and  who,  by 
the  freedom  and  independence  of  spirit  with  which  they  urged  their  opinions 
with  your  Majesty,  have  given  proof,  not  to  legainsaycd.  that  what  alone  they 
Imd  in  view  was,  not  their  personal  advantage  or  their  sovereign's  favour,  but 
only  his  true  interest  and  welfare.  And  if  such  men  as  these — a  loving 
brother  among  them,  a  prince  noble  and  chivalrous  to  the  core  (durch  und 
durcli),  and  nearest  to  the  throne — have  felt  themselves  constrained  to  part  from 
you  at  a  momentous  crisis,  this  is  a  serious  symptom,  which  may  well  give  Your 
Majesty  occasion  to  take  counsel  with  yourself,  and  to  test  with  anxious  care 
whether  the  hidden  source  of  evils,  past  and  present,  may  not  perhaps  be  found 
in  Your  Majesty's  own  views.' 


64  SPEECH  BY  THE  PRINCE   CONSORT.  1854 

been  kept  together,  so  that  things  have  been  carried  on  in 
a  way  that  is  upon  the  whole  homogeneous  and  consistent. 

'  The  best  possible  understanding  exists  with  the  Emperor 
Napoleon  III.,  and  yet  his  policy,  which  is  composed  of  con 
tinual  and  frequently  dangerous  impulses,  has  constantly 
to  be  checked  and  brought  back  to  a  definite  channel.  We 
have  not  up  to  this  time  had  a  moment's  cause  to  complain 
of  Austria,  and  I  think  that,  with  the  friendly  views  of 
France  and  England  towards  her,  she  has  regained  some 
confidence  in  herself,  and  that  the  foundation  for  a  franker 
policy  is  being  laid. 

*  I  have  hanging  over  me  a  speech  in  the  City  on  the  occasion 
of  the  Bicentenary  Jubilee  Festival  of  the  Sons  of  the  Clergy. 

'Windsor  Castle,  24th  April,  1854.' 

The  speech,  which  the  Prince  here  mentions  as  hanging 
over  him,  was  delivered  at  the  Merchant  Taylors'  Hall  on  the 
10th  of  May.  It  was  a  model  of  an  after-dinner  speech, 
going  straight  to  the  point,  and  enforcing  its  appeal  upon 
one  leading  principle,  and  in  the  fewest  words.  On  such  an 
occasion,  to  be  original  without  effort  is  no  easy  task.  But 
by  touching  on  one  distinctive  and  important  feature  of  the 
Protestant  Church,  the  Prince  contrived  ingeniously  to  pre 
pare  his  audience  for  his  argument  that  a  clergy,  who  had 
to  bear  the  burdens  of  family  life,  but  to  whom  the  pursuit 
of  wealth  was  denied,  had  a  strong  claim  upon  the  sympathy 
and  liberality  of  the  community  at  large  :— 

'  When  our  ancestors,'  he  said, '  purified  the  Christian  faith,  and 
shook  off  the  yoke  of  a  domineering  Priesthood,  they  felt  that  the 
keystone  of  that  wonderful  fabric  which  had  grown  up  in  the 
dark  times  of  the  middle  ages  was  the  Celibacy  of  the  Clergy,  and 
shrewdly  foresaw  that  their  reformed  faith  and  newly-won 
religious  liberty  would,  on  the  contrary,  only  be  secure  in  the 
hands  of  a  clergy  united  with  the  people  by  every  sympathy, 
national,  personal,  and  domestic. 


1854  LAUNCH  OF  'THE  ROYAL  ALBERT?  65 

*  Gentlemen,  this  nation  has  enjoyed  for  three  hundred  years 
the  blessing  of  a  Church  Establishment  which  rests  upon  this 
basis,  and  cannot  be  too  grateful  for  the  advantages  afforded  by 
the  fact  that  the  Christian  Ministers  not  only  preach  the  doctrines 
of  Christianity,  but  live  among  their  congregations  an  example  for 
the  discharge  of  every  Christian  duty,  as  husbands,  fathers,  and 
masters  of  families,  themselves  capable  of  fathoming  the  whole 
depth  of  human  feelings,  desires,  and  difficulties.' 

A  tribute  to  the  personal  popularity  of  the  Prince  was  paid 
in  the  fact,  that  the  unusually  large  sum  of  12,500£.  was 
subscribed  on  the  occasion. 

Three  days  afterwards  (13th  May)  the  Queen  had  the 
pleasure  of  giving  the  Prince's  name  to  one  of  the  finest 
vessels  which  had  hitherto  been  constructed  for  her  Navy. 
( On  Saturday  morning  we  went  to  Woolwich,'  says  Her 
Majesty,  in  writing  to  King  Leopold,  'where  we  witnessed, 
amid  thousands  and  thousands  of  spectators,  the  launch  of 
the  Royal  Albert  (sister  ship  to  the  famed  Duke  of  Wel 
lington)^  120  guns  and  272  feet  in  length.  I  christened  her, 
and  it  was  a  moving  sight  to  see  this  immense  creature 
glide  into  the  water  amidst  the  deafening  cheers,  bearing 
dearest  Albert's  likeness.' 4 

It  was  characteristic  of  the  Prince's  energy,  that  the  same 
day,  as  appears  by  his  Diary,  he  went  with  Lord  Hardinge 
and  Sir  John  Burgoyne  by  train  to  GKiildford,  and  thence  on 

4  The  first  service  on  which  this  fine  vessel  was  employed  was  in  carrying 
ont  reinforcements  to  the  Crimea  after  the  battle  of  Inkermann.  In  a  letter 
(24th  May)  to  the  Queen  from  her  sister,  this  passage  occurs:  '  I  read  the 
description  in  the  papers  yesterday  of  the  launch  of  the  Royal  Albert,  and  your 
christening  it.  What  a  beautiful  sight  it  must  have  been !  Indeed,  my  dearest 
Victoria,  I  can  quite  understand  your  wishing  to  have  a  son  in  the  navy  just 
now,  because  I  feel  so  proud  of  having  one  there,  notwithstanding  all  the 
dangers  he  may  be  exposed  to.  What  is  life  worth,  if  you  cannot  spend  and 
exert  the  strength  God  has  given  you  for  a  great  cause,  or  on  behalf  of  man 
kind  ?  It  is  this  conviction  which  I  have  always  endeavoiired  to  instil  into  the 
.hearts  of  my  children,  because  it  is  the  ever  vibrating  nerve  in  my  own  soul 
which  keeps  me  alive.' 

YOL.  III.  F 


66  MULTIFARIOUS  OCCUPATIONS  1854 

horseback  to  Aldershot  Common,  over  which  they  rode  for 
three  hours,  arriving  at  the  conclusion  that  it  would  afford 
'  an  admirable  site '  for  the  permanent  camp,  which  the 
Prince  had  long  set  his  heart  on  seeing  established.  A  few 
days  later  (19th  May)  he  started  early  in  the  morning  with 
Lord  Derby,  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert,  and  Colonel  Talbot,  and 
spent  several  hours  in  examining  some  ground  near  Epsom 
Downs,  which  had  been  proposed  as  the  site  for  the  Wellington 
College,  but  was  subsequently  found  to  be  inferior  to  that 
near  Sandhurst,  which  was  adopted  in  the  following  October. 
In  the  afternoon  he  presided  at  a  meeting  of  the  Fine  Arts 
Commission,  and  in  the  evening  went  to  hear  the  Cologne 
Choir,  which  he  mentions  as  being  '  quite  admirable.' 

Like  all  busy  men,  the  Prince  seems  to  have  found  more 
time  to  see  and  hear  things  which  may  be  regarded  as  re 
creation  than  those  who  have  most  leisure  at  their  command. 
As  we  turn  over  the  brief  entries  of  his  Diary  for  this  month, 
the  evidence  of  this  forces  itself  upon  us. 

The  war  had  immensely  increased  the  graver  demands 
upon  his  attention.  Not  a  detail  in  connection  with  either 
army  or  navy  escaped  him.  He  knew  to  a  man  the  strength 
of  both  forces,  where  they  were,  how  equipped,  and  for 
what  they  could  be  made  available.  The  despatches  to 
and  from  abroad  were  more  numerous  than  usual,  and  the 
pressure  of  his  correspondence,  always  great,  had  grown 
heavier  than  ever.  One  day  brings  tidings  of  the  bombard 
ment  of  Odessa,  another  the  unwelcome  news  of  the  Tiger 
being  taken  by  the  Russians,  and  all  its  crew  made  prisoners  ; 
another,  that  English  and  French  troops  have  to  march  upon 
Athens  to  compel  the  King  to  hold  his  hand  from  assailing 
Turkey.  The  dismissal  of  General  Bonin,  the  Prussian  War 
Minister,  is  noted  a  few  days  afterwards  as  (  a  very  bad  sign,' 
and  the  negotiations  between  Austria  and  Prussia,  who  have 
just  executed  a  secret  treaty,  cause  no  small  anxiety,  which  is, 


1854  OF   THE  PRINCE   CONSORT.  67 

however,  relieved  by  the  frank  explanations  of  the  Austrian 
Emperor  to  the  Duke  of  Cambridge,  who  had  taken  Vienna 
on  his  way  to  the  East.  On  the  9th  Mr.  Gladstone  brings 
forward  his  Budget — an  occasion  made  more  anxious  than 
usual  by  the  fact  that  he  had  to  ask  for  six  millions  of  ad 
ditional  taxes.  These,  however,  were  granted  cheerfully  in 
answer  to  what  the  Prince  notes  as  '  a  very  remarkable 
speech'  (eine  ausgezeichnete  Rede).  Lord  Cowley,  over 
for  a  few  days  from  Paris,  and  Sir  Hamilton  Seymour, 
just  returned  from  St.  Petersburg,  have  each  to  be  seen, 
and  the  precious  information  at  their  command  elicited 
by  that  skilful  questioning  of  which  the  Prince  was  a 
master.  Silistria  is  besieged  by  the  Kussians  in  such  force, 
that  the  Prince  seems  to  have  shared  the  general  opinion, 
afterwards  to  be  so  splendidly  confuted  by  the  gallantry 
of  the  Turks,  under  the  guidance  of  two  young  English  offi 
cers  (Captain  Butler  and  Lieutenant  Nasmyth),  that  it  must 
surrender.  Marshal  St.  Arnaud  has  begun  to  grow  trouble 
some  by  setting  up  a  claim  to  the  supreme  command  of  the 
Allied  forces,  and  has  to  be  brought  to  reason.  Bunsen, 
the  valued  and  intimate  friend  of  many  years,  with  whose 
services  the  King  of  Prussia  has  dispensed,  and  who  is  the 
bearer  of  a  letter  of  eighteen  closely-written  pages  from  his 
Sovereign  to  the  Queen,5  has  to  be  seen,  and  the  grave 
aspect  of  affairs  at  Berlin  to  be  discussed  with  him.  But 
preoccupied  although  the  Prince  necessarily  was  with  such 
incidents  as  these,  he  found  time  to  preside  more  than  once 
during  the  month  at  the  meetings  of  the  Eoyal  Commission, 
to  hear  Faraday  lecture  at  the  Royal  Institution  on  '  Mental 
Education,'  to  inspect  the  works  of  the  students  of  the 
School  of  Design  at  Grore  House,  and  to  be  present  at  soirees 
given  by  Lord  Eoss  to  the  Royal  Society,  and  by  Lord  de 

5  The  letter  referred  to  in  the  note,  p.  62  ante, 
v  2 


68  COURT  FESTIVITIES.  1854 

Grey  to  the  Society  of  British  Architects,  where  he  threw 
himself  heart  and  soul  into  the  study  of  the  inventions  and 
designs  which  formed  the  attraction  of  these  meetings,  as 
though  science  and  art  were  the  sole  subject  of  his  thoughts. 

Nor  were  the  anxieties  of  the  month  wholly  unrelieved 
by  social  gaieties.  On  Prince  Arthur's  birthday  ( 1st  of  May) 
two  hundred  children  were  made  happy  at  a  ball  at  Buck 
ingham  Palace,  to  which  Lord  Aberdeen,  who  had  little  to 
cheer  him  in  the  heavy  responsibilities  of  his  office,  received 
the  following  graceful  invitation  from  the  Queen  : — '  Though 
the  Queen  cannot  send  Lord  Aberdeen  a  card  for  a  child's 
bal^  perhaps  he  may  not  disdain  coming  for  a  short  while  to 
see  a  number  of  happy  little  people,  including  some  of  his 
grandchildren,  enjoying  themselves.'  On  the  12th,  marking 
the  value  attached  to  the  French  Alliance,  the  Queen  and 
Prince  were  present  for  some  hours  at  a  bal  costume  given 
by  Count  Walewski,  the  French  Ambassador, — an  honour  for 
which  the  Count  was  profuse  in  his  expressions  of  acknow 
ledgment.  The  ball,  the  Prince  notes,  '  was  very  brilliant, 
ind  the  costumes  most  beautiful.'  A  great  ball,  to  which 
1 ,800  guests  were  invited,  took  place  at  Buckingham  Palace 
on  the  1  7th,  and  the  Prince  records,  as  the  main  incident  of 
a  Royal  concert  given  a  few  nights  before,  that  Lablache 
sang  for  the  first  time  in  England  for  two  years. 

The  Queen's  birthday  (24th),  which  was  spent  at  Osborne, 
was  made  memorable  to  the  Royal  children  by  their  having 
given  over  to  them  the  Swiss  Cottage,  which  had  been  erected 
there  partly  for  their  pastime  and  partly  for  instruction  in 
little  household  duties,  and  to  which  a  Museum  of  Natural 
History  was  attached,  while  beside  it  were  little  garden 
plots  allotted  to  each,  where  they  were  expected  to  make 
themselves  practically  acquainted  with  the  simpler  elements 
of  garden  culture. 

On  the  21st  of  June  the  Prince  had  to  preside  at  the  Trinity 


1854        SPEECH  AT   TRINITY  HOUSE  DINNER.  69 

House  dinner,  and  records  that  of  twenty-three  speeches  made 
on  the  occasion  no  fewer  than  eight  devolved  upon  himself. 
All  were  good  ;  but  that  which  introduced  the  toast  of  the 
Army  and  Navy  was  especially  so.  No  man  in  England  was 
better  qualified  to  estimate  the  difficulties  of  the  enterprise 
in  which  our  army  and  navy  were  embarked,  and  knowing, 
as  he  did,  the  impatience  with  which  results  were  sure  to  be 
looked  for  by  the  public,  he  took  occasion  to  indicate  what 
these  difficulties  were  in  proposing  the  toast  of  the  two 
Services  : — • 

*  The  toast,'  he  said,  '  of  the  Array  and  Navy  of  Great  Britain 
will  be  drank  by  you  with  peculiar  emotions  at  this  time.  As 
your  eyes  are  turned  towards  these  Services,  your  hearts  beat 
for  them,  and  with  their  success  the  welfare  and  the  honour  of 
the  country  are  so  intimately  bound  up.  They  will  do  their 
duty  as  they  have  always  done,  and  may  the  Almighty  bless 
their  efforts  !  What  is  asked  to  be  achieved  by  them  in  this 
instance  is  a  task  of  inordinate  difficulty,  not  only  from  the 
nature  and  climate  of  the  country  in  which  they  are  fighting,  but 
also  from  the  peculiarity  of  the  enemy  to  whom  they  are  opposed, 
as  it  may  so  happen  that  the  army  may  meet  a  foe  of  ten  times 
its  number,  whilst  the  fleet  may  find  it  impossible  to  meet  one  at 
all.  All  these  difficulties,  however,  may  be  considered  as  com 
pensated  by  the  goodness  of  our  cause,  "  the  vindication  of  the 
public  law  of  Europe,"  and  the  fact  that  we  have  fighting  by  our 
side  a  Power,  the  military  prowess  and  vigour  of  which  we  have 
hitherto  chiefly  known  from  the  severity  of  long  and  anxious 
contests.  If  there  be  a  contest  between  us  now,  it  will  be  one 
of  emulation,  and  not  of  enmity.' 

This  well-timed  statement  of  the  object  of  the  war,  which 
was  not  the  maintenance  of  the  Turkish  Empire  for  its  own 
sake,  but  '  the  vindication  of  the  public  law  of  Europe,'  was 
less  necessary  then  than  it  subsequently  became.  Still 
there  was  a  party  who  forgot,  in  their  disgust  at  Turkish 
misrule,  the  larger  issues  which  were  at  stake  ;  and  it  was 
desirable  to  keep  these  prominently  before  the  public  mind. 


70      SERVICES  OF  PRINCE    TO    TRINITY  HOUSE.   1854 

Indeed  had  it  not  been  felt  that  they  involved  something  far 
more  important  to  England  and  to  Europe  than  the  duration 
of  an  effete  dynasty,  the  determination  to  prosecute  the  war 
to  a  successful  issue  could  not  have  been  sustained  through 
the  long  months  of  anxiety  and  loss  and  gigantic  struggle, 
by  which  the  triumph  of  right  against  lawless  aggression 
was  ultimately  to  be  vindicated. 

This  was  the  first  time  the  Prince  had  presided  over  the 
Elder  Brethren  since  the  important  alterations  in  the  consti 
tution  of  their  body  which  had  been  effected  by  Parliament 
in  the  previous  year.  To  his  wise  counsels  it  had  been 
mainly  due,  that  the  necessary  reforms  had  been  ungrudgingly 
accepted  by  them  ;  while,  at  the  same  time,  by  the  care  he 
had  taken  in  his  negotiations  on  their  behalf,  while  surren 
dering  to  the  Government  the  power  of  levying  dues, 
which  the  Trinity  House  had  previously  possessed,  they 
retained  their  independence  and  powers  of  administration 
unimpaired.  It  was  therefore  with  perfect  truth  that  he 
was  able  to  congratulate  them  on  the  working  of  these 
alterations,  as  '  a  successful  attempt  at  that  difficult  and  nice 
operation  to  bring  the  spontaneous  activity  of  a  public  body 
into  harmony  with  the  general  feelings  of  the  country,  as 
represented  in  its  Government,  without  destroying  all  in 
dividual  and  organic  life  by  the  killing  influence  of  an  arbi 
trary  mechanical  centralisation,' 6 

Meanwhile  all  eyes  were  directed   towards    the   Danube, 

6  To  this  hour  the  invaluable  services  of  the  Prince  to  the  Trinity  House  in 
the  year  1853  are  warmly  recognised.  In  a  letter  from  the  Secretary  of  the 
Board  (4th  January,  1877)  now  before  us,  he  says :  '  It  is  a  great  happiness  to 
us  that  the  wise  "  sailing  directions"  then  laid  down  for  us  have  since  enabled 
us  (although  the  navigation  is  at  times  difficult  and  critical)  to  avoid  alike  the 
Scylla  of  irresponsibility  and  the  Charybdis  of  losing  our  corporate  identity  ; 
and  I  may  add  that  we  continue  to  be  deeply  indebted,  in  the  arduous  task 
known  in  this  keen  world  as  "  holding  one's  own,"  to  the  moral  support  which 
has  apparently  become  a  tradition  in  the  Royal  family,  from,  doubtless,  in  the 
first  instance,  the  Prince's  gracious  and  illustrious  example.' 


1854  DEFENCE    OF  SILISTRIA.  71 

where  the  resistance  of  the  Turks  to  the  assaults  of  the 
superior  Russian  forces  had  excited  equal  surprise  and  ad 
miration.  The  whole  efforts  of  the  Russian  generals  were 
now  concentrated  on  the  siege  of  Silistria ;  and,  just  when 
the  tidings  of  its  fall  were  looked  for  as  a  matter  of  certainty,7 
came  the  news  of  repulse  after  repulse  inflicted  upon  immense 
masses  of  the  besiegers.  After  the  English  and  French 
army  had  reached  Constantinople,  it  was  felt  by  our  Cabinet 
that  the  fall  of  Silistria  would  produce  a  bad  effect  both  at 
the  seat  of  war  and  throughout  Europe.  They  therefore 
were  urgent  for  a  movement  of  English  and  French  troops 
in  support  of  Omar  Pasha,  with  the  view  of  raising  the  siege. 
From  Silistria  itself  came  the  strongest  representations,  that 
it  must  fall,  unless  relieved  by  the  Allied  forces  ;  but  Lord 
Raglan  found  it  impossible,  for  want  of  the  means  of  land 
transport,  to  move  any  portion  of  his  troops  from  Varna  for 
the  purpose.  When,  therefore,  the  tidings  reached  him  that 
on  the  22nd  of  June  the  siege  had  been  raised,  and  that  the 
Russians  were  in  full  retreat,  having  lost  upwards  of  12.000 
men  in  their  unsuccessful  assaults  on  the  works,  no  one  was 
more  surprised  than  himself.  All  the  accounts  from  the  English 
officers  at  both  Schumla  and  Silistria  had  represented  that  it 
was  impossible  for  the  Turks  to  hold  out  many  days  longer,  and 
lie  opened  the  despatch  from  Omar  Pasha  which  announced 
the  retreat  of  the  Russians  from  Silistria,  fully  expecting  to 
find  in  it  the  particulars  of  its  fall. 

A  crushing  defeat  of  the  Russians  under  General  Soimonoff 8 
at  Giurgevo,  on  the  7th  of  July,  was  soon  afterwards  followed 
by  the  retirement  of  their  whole  forces  beyond  the  Pruth. 

7  Thus,  on  the  28th  of  May,  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  '  regrets  to  inform  Her 
Majesty  that  by  a  telegram  received  this  day  from  Belgrade,  dated  yesterdny, 
half-past  one  o'clock,  P.M.,  the  Turkish  garrison  of  Silistria  was  about  to  sur 
render  :  the  terms  of  capitulation  stem  ro  be  "  assez  honoraUes  "  for  the  Turks.' 

8  General  Soimonoff  was  killed  at  Inkern:ann  on  the  oth  November  fol 
lowing. 


72        AUSTRIA   OCCUPIES   THE  PRINCIPALITIES.    1854 

The  invasion  of  the  Principalities  was  now  practically  at 
an  end,  and  the  dreaded  name  of  the  Czar  had  been  shorn  of 
its  prestige  by  the  valour  of  the  Turks,  whom  he  had  affected 
to  despise. 

The  precipitate  movement  of  his  forces  across  the  Pruth 
was  no  doubt  accelerated,  in  some  measure,  by  the  fact  that 
Austria  had  followed  up  the  Czar's  refusal  to  evacuate  the 
Principalities  upon  her  summons,  by  concluding  a  Conven 
tion  (14th  June)  with  the  Porte.  In  pursuance  of  its  terms 
she  was  now  moving  a  large  and  well-disciplined  army  into 
the  Principalities,  for  the  purpose  of  restoring  the  state  of 
things  which  had  existed  there  previous  to  the  Russian  in 
vasion.  With  the  Austrians  on  their  right  flank,  and  the 
Allied  forces  on  their  left,  and  confronted  by  the  considerable 
forces  now  accumulated  under  the  command  of  Omar  Pasha, 
the  position  of  the  Russian  army  in  the  Principalities  had 
become  no  longer  tenable.  But  though  driven  back  into  his 
own  territory,  the  Western  Powers  had  no  reason  to  believe 
that  the  Czar  was  prepared  to  abate  one  jot  of  his  preten 
sions  to  the  protectorate,  civil  and  religious,  of  the  Greek 
Christians  in  Turkey,  which  had  been  the  proximate  and 
ostensible  cause  of  the  war.  In  fact,  the  despatch  of  Count 
Nesselrode  to  Prince  Grortschakoff  (17th  June\  which  em 
bodied  the  reply  to  the  Austrian  summons,  placed  this 
beyond  a  doubt.  The  private  intelligence  also,  which  readied 
the  Cabinets  of  the  West  from  St.  Petersburg,  represented 
the  Czar  as  counting  somewhat  on  the  anxiety  of  Europe  for 
peace,  to  enable  him  to  secure  it  on  easy  terms  ;  while,  if 
forced  to  carry  on  the  war,  he  had  declared  '  that  he  would  do 
so  for  twenty  years  if  necessary,  and  that  he  should  in  the  end 
weary  out  Europe  even  if  it  were  all  united  against  him.' 9 

But  if  such  was  the  warlike  temper  of  the  Russian  autocrat, 
not  less   were  the  Western  Powers  determined  to  put  his 

9  Despatch  from  Lori  Bloomfield  to  Lord  Clarendon,  Berlin,  7th  July,  1854. 


i854  SPEECH  BY  LORD  LYNDHURST.  73 

vaunted  powers  of  endurance  to  the  test.  Austria  and 
Prussia,  indeed,  might  have  been  well  pleased  to  negotiate 
for  peace  on  the  footing  of  the  status  quo  ante  bellum ;  and 
the  States  of  the  Diet,  ever  prone  to  support  Russia  as  a 
friend  on  whom  they  could  rely  for  resistance  to  their  ab 
sorption  in  an  United  Germany,  had  very  plainly  indicated 
that  this  was  their  view  of  the  basis  for  a  peace.  But 
neither  the  Grovernment  nor  people  of  Great  Britain  were 
minded  to  close  the  struggle  without  securing  Europe  against 
the  hazard  of  being  again  plunged  into  a  similar  conflict  by 
the  renewal  of  the  same  pretensions. 

The  public  feeling  on  the  subject  found  expression  in  a 
speech  of  Lord  Lyndhurst  in  the  House  of  Lords  on  the 
19th  of  June, — a  speech  which  must  at  all  times  have  been 
remarkable  for  the  luminous  force  of  its  statements,  the 
logical  vigour  of  its  deductions,  the  noble  rhetoric,  which, 
while  it  quickened  the  listeners'  blood,  also  captivated  their 
understanding,  but  which  was  especially  remarkable  as  a 
display  of  intellectual  energy  by  a  man  in  his  eighty-second 
year.  His  argument  that  Russia  had  shown  by  her  faithless 
ness  and  treachery,  that  it  was  idle  to  make  engagements 
with  her,  was  received  with  enthusiasm  by  men  little  given 
to  the  display  of  feeling.  Cheers  followed  cheers,  as  '  the 
old  man  eloquent '  denounced  a  long  career  of  successful 
perfidy  in  passages  like  these  : — 

'  Look,'  he  said,'  at  her  whole  conduct,  and  then,  if  any  person 
can  be  credulous  enough  to  trust  in  any  statement  of  Russia,  or 
in  any  engagement  into  which  she  may  enter  contrary  to  her  own 
interests,  all  I  can  say  is,  that  I  admire  the  extent  of  his  faith.  Let 
me  recall  to  your  lordships'  recollection  what  took  place  at  St. 
Petersburg.  .  .  .  Sir.  H.  Seymour  heard  that  Russian  troops 
were  being  collected  on  the  Russian  frontier  :  he  was  satisfied  with 
his  authority,  and  he  mentioned  the  circumstance  to  Count 
Nesselrode.  The  Count  contradicted  the  statement :  he  said  to 
Sir  H.  Seymour:  "  Do  not  believe  what  you  hear;  believe  only 


74  SPEECH  BY  LORD  LYNDHURST.  1854 

what  you  see :  all  that  is  taking  place  is  only  a  change  in  the 
position  of  Our  armies,  which  is  usual  at  this  season  of  the  year. 
I  assure  you,  you  are  mistaken.  .  .  ."  Is  this  the  system,  and 
are  these  the  persons  on  whose  assurances  we  are  to  depend.  .  .  .  ? 

'  When  the  interests  of  millions  are  at  stake,  when  the  liber 
ties  of  mankind  are  at  issue,  away  with  confidence.  Confidence 
generally  ends  in  credulity.  This  is  true  of  statesmen  as  of 
individuals.  jVTy  lords,  the  history  of  Russia,  from  the  estab 
lishment  of  the  empire  down  to  the  present  moment,  is  a  history 
of  fraud,  duplicity,  trickery,  artifice,  and  violence.  The  present 
Emperor  has  proclaimed  himself  protector  of  the  Greek  Church  in 
Turkey,  just  as  the  Empress  Catherine  declared  herself  protector 
of  the  Greek  Church  in  Poland.  By  means  of  that  protectorate 
she  fomented  dissensions  and  stirred  up  political  strife  in  the 
country.  She  then  marched  into  Poland  under  the  pretence  of 
allaying  tumults,  and  stripped  the  kingdom  of  some  of  its 
fairest  provinces.  We  know  the  ultimate  result ;  it  is  too  familiar 
to  require  more  particular  reference. 

'  Look  at  another  instance  of  Russian  policy  of  more  recent 
occurrence.  Russia  agreed  to  a  treaty  with  Turkey,  by  which 
she  recognised  the  independence  of  the  Crimea.  Nevertheless 
she  stirred  up  insurrections  in  that  country,  under  the  old  pre 
tence  of  protecting  one  party  against  another,  and  when  the 
opportunity  offered,  she  sent  Suwaroff,  one  of  her  most  barbarous 
Generals,  into  the  Crimea,  who  murdered  the  inhabitants  and 
despoiled  them  of  their  territory,  while  a  line  of  Russian  ships 
invested  the  coast  and  cut  off  all  communication  with  Constan 
tinople.  At  the  very  moment  when  this  was  being  done,  Russia 
was  not  only  at  peace  with  Turkey,  but  was  actually  negotiating 
a  treaty  of  commerce  with  her.  .  .  .  Russia  has  doubled  her 
European  territories  within  the  last  fifty  years,  and  yet  she  is  bent 
on  possessing  herself  of  Khiva.  The  loss  of  two  armies  does 
not  deter  her  from  prosecuting  this  purpose,  although  the  place 
cannot  be  of  the  slightest  value  to  her,  except  as  affording  her  the 
means  of  annoying  us  in  respect  to  our  Eastern  possessions.  In 
this  way  does  Russia  go  on  for  ever.  Take  the  most  recent  in 
stance.  While  Nicholas  was  pretending  to  act  the  part  of  pro 
tector  of  Turkey,  and  trying  to  cajole  the  Sultan  with  professions 
of  friendship  and  esteem,  he  was  at  the  time  planning  the  partition 
of  his  empire.  This  is  the  Emperor  with  whom  you  are  now 


1854  SPEECH  BY  LORD   CLARENDON.  75 

dealing,  and  on  whose  statements  and  representations  we  are  to 
rely.' 

More  to  the  same  effect  followed,  leading  up  to  the  con 
clusion,  that  if  any  engagement  were  to  be  made  with 
Russia,  England  must  take  material  guarantees  for  its  ful 
filment. 

'  But  then  my  noble  friend  opposite  may  say,  What  course  would 
you  pursue  ?  What  is  your  policy  ?  My  reply  is,  that  this  will 
depend  a  good  deal  on  the  events  of  the  war.  This,  however, 
I  unhesitatingly  declare,  that  in  no  event,  except  that  of  ex 
treme  necessity,  ought  we  to  make  peace  without  previously 
destroying  the  Russian  fleet  in  the  Black  Sea,  and  laying  pros 
trate  the  fortifications  by  which  it  is  defended.' 

Prolonged  cheering  hailed  the  venerable  speaker  when  he 
sat  do\vn,  having  closed  one  of  even  his  finest  speeches  with 
the  words — 

'  My  lords,  I  feel  strongly  on  this  subject,  and  I  believe  that 
if  this  barbarous  nation,  this  enemy  of  all  progress  except  that 
which  tends  to  strengthen  and  consolidate  its  own  power,  this 
state  which  punishes  education  as  a  crime,  should  once  succeed  in 
establishing  itself  in  the  heart  of  Europe,  it  would  be  the  greatest 
calamity  that  could  befall  the  human  race.' 

Lord  Clarendon  followed,  and  his  language  made  it  clear 
to  all,  that  if  the  Government  were  silent  as  to  the  terms  of 
peace  to  which  they  looked  forward,  their  silence  was  not  due 
to  any  want  of  will  to  curtail  the  dangerous  predominance  of 
Russian  force,  or  to  check  her  policy  of  selfish  aggrandisement. 
'  All  Europe,'  were  his  closing  words,  '  is  not  to  be  disturbed, 
great  interests  are  not  to  be  injured,  the  people  are  not  to 
have  fresh  burdens  imposed  upon  them,  great  social  and  com 
mercial  relations  are  not  to  be  abruptly  torn  asunder,  and  all 
the  greatest  Powers  of  Europe  are  not  to  be  united  in  arms 
for  an  insignificant  result.' 


76  LORD  ABERDEEN'S  SPEECH  IN  REPLY       1854 

Had  the  debate  ended  here  all  would  have  been  well. 
Lord  Derby,  however,  rose  after  Lord  Clarendon,  and  pro 
nounced  a  vehement  philippic,  which  was  little  more  than 
an  echo  of  what  had  been  better  said  by  Lord  Lyndhurst. 
Stung  by  the  implied  reproaches  of  both  these  brilliant 
orators,  that  the  Government  were  disposed  to  deal  slackly 
with  the  enterprise  they  had  in  hand,  and  possibly  feeling 
that  their  language  might  make  it  more  difficult,  by  alarming 
the  other  European  Powers,  for  England  and  France  to  carry 
these  Powers  along  with  them.  Lord  Aberdeen  was  tempted 
to  reply.  The  tone  of  his  statement  seemed  peculiarly  cold 
after  the  passionate  eloquence  of  former  speakers.  Knowing 
himself  to  be  as  solicitous  as  they  could  be  for  an  effective 
peace,  but  also  knowing,  as  they  could  not  know,  how  hedged 
about  with  difficulty  the  position  of  the  Government  was,  a 
want  of  heartiness  in  the  cause  for  which  English  blood  was 
now  up  at  fever  heat  seemed  to  weigh  down  his  words. 
Even  this  might  have  escaped  censure,  had  he  not  tried  to 
mitigate  Lord  Lyndhurst's  denunciations  of  Russian  en 
croachments.  The  ex-Chancellor  had  gone  beyond  the  fact 
in  alleging  that  they  had  enabled  the  Czars  to  double  their 
European  territory  within  the  last  fifty  years.  But  though 
exaggerated,  the  general  charge  was  true;  and  it  was  idle 
in  Lord  Aberdeen  to  attempt,  as  he  did,  to  vindicate  the 
systematic  aggressions  of  years  by  calling  attention  to  the 
fact  that,  although  the  Russians  were  within  twenty  miles 
of  Constantinople  in  1829,  they  had  not  made  the  surrender 
to  themselves  of  any  Turkish  territory  in  Europe  a  condition 
of  their  accepting  the  treaty  of  Adrianople.  Only  by  that 
fatuity  which  upon  occasion  overtakes  even  the  most  judi 
cious,  was  it  possible  to  account  for  this  inopportune  refe 
rence  to  a  treaty,  which  Lord  Aberdeen  in  the  same  sentence 
denounced  as  disastrous. 

The  mischievous  effect  which  it  produced  was   soon  ap- 


]854  CAUSES   GREAT  DISSATISFACTION.  77 

parent.  Lord  Aberdeen's  words  were  laid  hold  of,  as  giving 
countenance  to  the  charge,  thoroughly  unjust  in  itself,  but 
which  not  merely  the  adversaries  of  the  Government,  but 
some  of  its  own  members,  had  been  at  pains  to  keep  constantly 
before  the  public,  that  the  war  was  coldly  prosecuted  by  the 
First  Minister  of  the  Crown,  and  that  he  had  been  dragged 
into  it  against  his  will.  So  general,  indeed,  was  the  dis 
satisfaction,  that  Mr.  Layard  gave  notice  in  the  House  of 
Commons  a  few  nights  afterwards  (23rd  June),  of  a  motion 
4  that  in  the  opinion  of  this  House,  the  language  held  by  the 
First  Minister  of  the  Crown  was  calculated  to  raise  grave 
doubts  in  the  public  mind  as  to  the  objects  and  results  of 
the  present  war,  and  to  lessen  the  prospect  of  an  honourable 
and  durable  peace.' 

The  Government  would  not  have  been  sorry  to  join  issue 
with  their  opponents  on  this  motion,  where  they  would  have 
been  sure  of  a  victory  ;  for  as  Lord  Aberdeen  said,  writing  to 
the  Queen  (24th  June),  '  after  the  various  defeats  of  the 
Government,  it  is  most  essential  that  an  opportunity  should 
be  found  of  testing  the  real  feelings  of  the  House  of  Com 
mons.'  But  he  felt  it  was  necessary,  for  his  own  sake,  that 
he  should  remove  the  misapprehensions  created  by  his  speech, 
and  in  the  same  letter  he  announced  that  he  had  given 
notice  of  a  motion  for  the  purpose.  To  this  communication 
Her  Majesty  replied  :— 

'26th  June,  1851. 

'  The  Queen  is  very  glad  to  hear  that  Lord  Aberdeen  will 
take  an  opportunity  to-day  of  dispelling  misapprehensions 
which  have  arisen  in  the  public  mind  in  consequence  of  his 
last  speech  in  the  House  of  Lords,  and  the  effect  of  which 
has  given  the  Queen  very  great  uneasiness.  She  knows  Lord 
Aberdeen  so  well,  that  she  can  fully  enter  into  his  feelings, 
and  understand  what  he  means ;  but  the  public,  particularly 


78  LORD  ABERDEEN'S  EXPLANATION  1854 

under  strong  ejspitement  of  patriotic  feeling,  is  impatient 
and  annoyed  to  hear  at  this  moment  the  First  Minister  of  the 
Crown  enter  into  an  impartial  examination  of  the  Emperor 
of  Eussia's  character  and  conduct. 

4  The  qualities  in  Lord  Aberdeen's  character,  which  the 
Queen  values  most  highly,  his  candour  and  his  courage  in 
expressing  opinions,  even  if  opposed  to  general  feelings  at 
the  moment,  are  in  this  instance  dangerous  to  him,  and  the 
Q.ueen  hopes  that  in  the  vindication  of  his  own  conduct  to 
day,  which  ought  to  be  triumphant,  as  it  wants  in  fact  no 
vindication,  he  will  not  undertake  the  ungrateful  and 
injurious  task  of  vindicating  the  Emperor  of  Eussia  from 
any  of  the  exaggerated  charges  brought  against  him  and  his 
policy,  at  a  time  when  there  is  enough  in  that  policy  to  make 
us  fight  with  all  our  might  against  it.' 

Lord  Aberdeen  introduced  his  statement  by  moving  for  a 
copy  of  a  Despatch  written  by  himself  to  Lord  Heytesbury  on 
the  31st  October,  1829,  with  respect  to  the  Treaty  of  Adria- 
nople,  then  recently  concluded.  The  portions  of  this  Despatch 
which  he  read  were  sufficient  to  prove  that  he  considered 
the  concessions  obtained  by  Eussia  under  that  Treaty,  though 
not  of  territory,  were,  by  the  political  influence  which  they 
gave  her  over  Turkey,  really  more  disastrous  to  that  country's 
independence,  and  ultimately  to  the  peace  of  Europe,  than 
a  partial  loss  of  territory  would  have  been  :— 

'  Exception,'  he  said,  *  has  been  taken  to  some  expressions  of 
mine,  as  if  I  expressed  doubt  or  disbelief  of  any  danger  from 
Russian  aggression.  Now  I  wish  here  to  say  that  I  entertain 
the  greatest  alarm  as  to  Russian  aggression  against  Turkey. 
Against  that  aggression  in  any  shape — whether  in  the  shape  of 
influence,  of  conquest,  or  otherwise — we  are  prepared  to  protect 
her.  But  with  respect  to  Russian  aggression  upon  Europe,  in 
dependently  of  her  designs  upon  Turkey,  I  certainly  did  express 
no  great  alarm,  because  I  feel  none.  If  Russia,  indeed,  could  be 


1 8 54  OF  HIS  FORMER  SPEECH.  79 

supposed  to  have  made  good  her  aggression  upon  Turkey,  and 
to  be  in  possession  of  Constantinople,  then  indeed  I  should  feel 
alarmed,  because  I  think  she  would  then  acquire  the  means  of 
becoming  formidable  and  dangerous  to  Europe.  .  .  .  Danger 
from  Russia  to  Europe  appears  to  me  mainly,  if  not  entirely,  to 
depend  upon  her  power  in  Turkey  and  in  the  East.  If  that 
power  be  checked,  then  I  cannot  think  that  there  need  be  any 
very  great  alarm  as  to  what  she  may  do  to  Austria,  or  Prussia, 
or  France,  or  England.  This,  however  much  it  may  have  been 
misunderstood,  was  really  all  I  meant  to  express  as  to  my  general 
disbelief  in  any  danger  from  Russian  aggression.' 

The  general  views  developed  by  Lord  Aberdeen  in  his  short 
statesmanlike  speech  were  so  thoroughly  in  accord  with  those 
of  all  moderate  men,  that  he  had  no  difficulty  in  setting  him 
self  right,  both  with  the  House  of  Lords  and  with  the  public. 
Passing  over  the  outrageous  attacks  upon  his  sincerity 
and  patriotism,  to  which  he  had  for  some  time  been  per 
sistently  subjected,  with  the  remark  that  he  should  feel 
degraded  by  condescending  to  enter  into  details  on  accu 
sations  so  absurd  and  improbable,  he  explained  his  attitude 
with  reference  to  the  war  in  words  which,  for  the  time., 
silenced  even  his  opponents  :— 

'  It  is  true,  my  lords,  that  I  have,  perhaps  more  than  any  other 
man  in  this  country,  struggled  to  maintain  a  state  of  peace.  I 
have  done  so,  because  I  thought  it  a  duty  to  the  people  of  this 
country,  a  duty  to  God  and  man,  first  to  exhaust  every  possible 
measure  to  obtain  peace  before  we  engaged  in  war.  I  may  own, 
though  I  trust  my  conscience  acquits  me  of  not  having  done  the 
utmost,  that  I  only  regret  not  having  done  enough,  or  lest  I 
may  have  lost  some  possible  means  of  averting  what  I  consider 
the  greatest  calamity  that  can  befall  a  country.  It  has  been 
said  that  my  desire  for  peace  unfits  me  to  make  war ;  but  how 
and  why  do  I  wish  to  make  war  ?  I  wish  to  make  war  in  order 
to  obtain  peace,  and  no  weapon  that  can  be  used  in  war  can  make 
the  war  so  sure  and  speedy,  and  attain  peace,  as  to  make  that 
war  with  the  utmost  vigour  and  determination.' 


So  EXPEDITION  TO  SEVASTOPOL  1854 

Only  one  Peer,  Lord  Clanricarde,  was  found,  after  this 
statement,  to  renew  the  old  charge  of  pusillanimity  against 
the  Premier,  but  the  elaborate  distortion  of  facts  by  which 
the  accusation  was  supported,  made  more  conspicuous  by  the 
personal  rancour  which  inspired  it,  was  not  calculated  to 
awaken  any  response  in  such  an  arena.  The  result  was  that, 
as  Lord  Aberdeen  wrote  the  same  evening  to  the  Queen, '  it  was 
very  coldly  received  throughout,  and  ended  without  a  single 
cheer.'  For  Mr.  Layard  to  have  persisted  in  his  motion  after 
Lord  Aberdeen's  explanation  would  have  been  to  court  defeat, 
and  he  accordingly  withdrew  it. 

In   his   reply    to  Lord   Lyndhurst,   Lord    Aberdeen   had 
alluded  with  some  bitterness  to  what  had  fallen  from  him  as 
to  the  necessity  for  razing  the  fortifications  of  Sebastopol. 
'  My  noble  and  learned  friend,'  he  had  said,  '  has  given  the 
Emperor  due  notice  that  he  had  better  lose  no  time  in  forti 
fying  Sebastopol,  and  I  daresay  His  Majesty  the  Emperor 
will  follow  my  noble  and'  learned  friend's  advice.'     It  may 
have   flashed  across  his  mind,   that  the  allusion   had   been 
prompted  by  private  information,  that  at  this  very  moment 
the   Cabinet  were  not  at    one    upon   the  expediency  of  an 
attack   upon    Sebastopol— expediency,  that  is  to  say,   with 
reference  to  the  chances  of  success,  not  with  reference  to  the 
object  itself.  From  the  outset  of  the  war  it  had  been  generally 
foreseen,  that  to  succeed  there  would  be  to  strike  at  the  basis 
of  Eussia's  power  to  endanger  the  peace  of  Europe.     So  early 
as  the  14th  of  March  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  sent  to  the  Queen 
the  copy  of  a  plan  which  had  been  sketched  by  the  French 
Emperor  for  military  operations  in  the  East,  in  which  he 
suggested  that  Sebastopol  should  be  attacked.     This  plan, 
the  Duke  stated,  had  been  approved  by  Lord  Raglan,  Lord 
de  Eos,  Lord  Clarendon  and  himself.     But,  looked  at  more 
closely,  it  was  found  to  be  beyond  the  resources  at  the  dis 
posal  of  the  Allied  Powers  in  the  early  part  of  the  campaign, 


1854  DECIDED    UPON.  81 

and  whilst  the  safety  of  Constantinople  was  still  in  jeopardy. 
But  the  recent  turn  of  events  had  revived  the  idea ;  and  by 
the  28th  of  June  it  was  so  far  matured  and  adopted  by  the 
Ministry  as  a  body,  that  the  draft  of  the  instructions  to 
Lord  Eaglan  which  led  to  the  expedition  was  submitted  by 
the  Duke  of  Newcastle  on  that  day  to  a  meeting  of  the 
Cabinet.  This  meeting  was  held  at  Lord  Russell's  house,  Pem 
broke  Lodge,10  and  in  writing  to  the  Queen  next  morning, 
Lord  Aberdeen  says  : — 

'  The  Cabinet  assembled  yesterday  evening  at  Lord  John 
Russell's  at  Richmond,  and  continued  to  a  very  late  hour.  A 
draft  of  instructions  to  Lord  Raglan  had  been  prepared  by  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle,  in  which  the  necessity  o£  a  prompt  attack 
upon  Sebastopol  and  the  Russian  fleet  was  strongly  urged.  The 
amount  of  force  now  assembled  at  Varna,  and  in  the  neigh 
bourhood,  appeared  to  be  amply  sufficient  to  justify  such  an  enter 
prise  with  the  assistance  of  the  English  and  French  fleets.  But 
although  the  expedition  to  the  Crimea  was  pressed  very  warmly, 

10  This  is  the  meeting  which  Mr.  Kinglake  has  enlivened  his  brilliant 
narrative  by  describing  as  if  the  airy  chamber  in  which  it  was  held  had  been 

A  pleasing  land  of  drowsyhead, 
Of  dreams  that  wave  before  the  half-shut  eye, 

to  the  influence  of  which  a  body  of  remarkable  men,  met  to  decide  on  a  ques 
tion  of  momentous  importance  to  the  nation,  were  in  some  strange  way  forced 
to  succumb  (Invasion  of  the  Crimea,  6th  ed.  vol.  ii.  p.  249,  and  note,  p.  407). 
That  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  not  flattered  perhaps  by  the  listless  attention 
paid  by  some  of  his  friends  to  his  very  ably  written  Despatch,  should  have 
mentioned  the  incident  is  natural ;  but  the  purport  of  that  Despatch  having  been 
settled,  according  to  Mr.  Kinglake' s  own  admission  (ibid.  p.  410),  by  the 
Cabinet  the  day  before  with  '  anxious  care  and  attention,'  the  document  was 
not  likely  under  any  circumstances  to  provoke  discussion.  If,  then,  a  few  of 
the  overworked  members  of  the  Cabinet  succumbed  to  the  soothing  monotones 
of  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  why  discr^ditthe  Cabinet  by  suggesting  that  the  terms 
of  the  Despatch  only  escaped  challenge,  because  '  all  its  members,  except  a  small 
minority,  were  asleep  ?  '  It  is  not  even  hinted,  that  of  those  who  then  '  slept 
the  sleep  of  the  weary,'  Lord  Aberdeen  was  one,  and  he  at  least  saw  nothing 
in  the  Despatch  to  fetter  the  discretion  of  the  responsible  leaders  of  the  Allied 
forces,  which  Mr.  Kinglake,  upon  the  weighty  authority  of  Lord  Eaglan, 
maintains  that  it  did.  The  Despatch  itself,  with  the  private  letter  to  Lord 
Raglan  which  preceded  it,  are  printed  by  Mr.  Kinglake  (vol.  ii.  cap.  xvi.). 

VOL.  III.  G 


82  APPROVED  BY  FRENCH  EMPEROR,  1854 

and  recommended  to  be  undertaken  with  the  least  possible  delay, 
the  final  decision  was  left  to  the  judgment  and  discretion  of  Lord 
Raglan  and  Marshal  St.  Arnaud,  after  they  should  have  communi 
cated  with  Omar  Pasha.' 

It  is  now  known,  upon  the  authority  of  Lord  Eaglan  him 
self,  that  he  did  not  consider  that  the  terms  of  this  Despatch 
left  '  the  final  decision '  in  his  hands.  Soldiers  naturally 
judge  such  matters  very  differently  from  civilians,  for  upon 
them  the  point  of  honour  presses  more  keenly.  While, 
therefore,  the  language  of  the  Despatch  will  probably  be  held 
by  most  people  to  fairly  justify  the  view  expressed  by  Lord 
Aberdeen,  it  is  nevertheless  the  fact,  that  Lord  Raglan  re 
garded  it  as  '  little  short  of  an  absolute  order  from  the  Secre 
tary  of  State,'  and  as  such  (  determined  to  obey  it.' 

That  the  disappointment  at  home  would  have  been 
great  had  it  been  otherwise,  is  certain.  Impatient  as  the 
country  had  become  at  the  comparative  inaction  of  the 
Allied  forces,  people  were  not  disposed  to  listen  to  the 
cautious  counsels  of  those  who  urged  delay,  until  some 
certain  information  could  be  procured  as  to  the  strength  of 
the  defences  of  Sebastopol  and  the  forces  which  would  have 
to  be  encountered  in  the  Crimea.  Lord  Raglan  was  well 
aware  of  this.  He  knew  also,  how  completely  the  feeling  was 
shared  by  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  for  before  his  Despatch 
left  England,  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  was  in  possession  of  a 
copy  of  a  letter  to  Lord  Cowley  (28th  June)  in  which  the 
Emperor  wrote :  '  J'avais  deja  prevenu  la  pensee  du 
gouvernement  Anglais,  en  ordonnant  a  St.-Arnaud  que  si 
les  Russes  se  retireraient,  il  fallait  prendre  la  Crimee,  et 
porter  la  guerre  en  Asie.9  The  Allied  forces  were  being 
wasted  by  sickness  and  inaction.  The  greatness  of  the  object 
in  view  warranted  some  boldness  in  adventure ;  and  the 
very  uncertainty  with  which  the  enterprise  was  invested 
must  have  given  it  some  attraction,  even  for  a  disciple  of  the 


iS54  AND  BY   THE  BRITISH  NATION.  83 

great  chief  whose  rule  it  was,  to  leave  as  little  as  possible  to 
chance.  These,  and  other  considerations  which  might  be 
suggested,  may  have  all  helped,  insensibly,  to  influence  Lord 
Eaglan  in  reading,  as  he  did,  between  the  lines  of  his  instruc 
tions,  without  having  recourse  to  the  serious  imputation  on 
the  Ministry  of  having  dictated  an  impracticable  enterprise 
to  the  head  of  an  army  in  the  field. 

'Parliament,'  says  Mr.  Kinglake  (vol.  ii.  p.  246),  ewas 
sitting,  and  it  might  be  imagined  that  there  was  something  to 
say  against  the  plan  for  invading  a  province  of  Russia  at  a 
moment  when  all  the  main  causes  of  dispute  were  vanishing.' 
But  Parliament  had  shown,  by  the  incidents  recorded  in  this 
chapter,  that  it  did  not  consider,  any  more  than  did  the 
country,  that  '  the  main  causes  of  the  dispute  were  vanish 
ing  ; '  while  the  response  awakened  by  Lord  Lyndhurst's 
words  showed  conclusively  enough,  how  eager  it  was  for  the 
invasion  of  the  Crimea.  The  destruction  of  Sebastopol, 
indeed,  was  the  thought  uppermost  in  men's  minds,  and 
between  this  time  and  the  period  when  it  was  known  that 
the  expedition  with  that  object  had  been  decided  upon,  the 
press  rang  with  reproaches  on  the  supineness  of  the  Govern 
ment  in  not  hurling  the  Allied  forces  at  the  great  naval 
stronghold  of  the  Czar.11  The  general  feeling  was  so  tho 
roughly  shared  by  the  Prince,  that  he  gave  a  special  study 
to  the  question,  how  the  advance  against  Sebastopol  was  to 
be  conducted.  By  a  curious  coincidence  he  sent  the  result 
of  his  studies  to  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  the  same  day  (29th 
June)  that  the  Duke  forwarded  to  the  Queen  his  Despatch 

11  Thus,  for  example,  The  Times  writes  (24th  July) :  '  We  are  now  approach 
ing  the  sixth  month  of  actual  hostilities,  and  as  yet  not  a  shot  has  been  fired 
by  the  laud  forces  of  England.  .  .  .  The  broad  policy  of  the  war  consists  in 
striking  at  the  very  heart  of  the  Russian  power  in  the  East,  and  that  heart  is  at 
Sebastopol.  .  .  .  To  destroy  Sebastopol  is  nothing  less  than  to  demolish  the  entire 
fabric  of  Russian  ambition  in  those  very  regions  where  it  is  most  dangerous  to 
Europe.  This  feat,  and  this  only,  would  have  really  promoted  the  solid  and 
durable  objects  of  the  war.' 

o  2 


84  PRINCE  SKETCHES  PLAN  1854 

to  Lord  Raglan  for  Her  Majesty's  approval.  In  the  letter 
which  accompanied  his  conclusions,  he  puts  them  forward 
merely  as  '  the  considerations  which  had  occurred  to  him  in 
his  room,'  adding,  '  but  such  as  they  are,  you  might  perhaps 
communicate  them  to  your  colleagues,  and  even  to  Lord 
Eaglan  when  you  write  to  him.' 

The  Prince's  Memorandum  is  prefaced  by  the  statement, 
that  '  after  the  retreat  of  the  Russians  from  the  Danube,  and 
the  entry  of  the  Austrians  into  Wallachia,  it  appears  clear 
that  it  cannot  be  the  policy  of  England  to  send  her  troops 
into  the  marshy  ground  of  the  former,  or  the  exhausted 
country  of  the  latter;  but  that  our  object  should  be  the 
destruction  of  Sebastopol,  the  point  which  really  commands 
the  Black  Sea.' 

'  Sebastopol,'  he  proceeds,  '  appears  to  be  inaccessible  by 
sea.  We  are  in  total  ignorance  as  to  the  strength  of  its 
garrison,  and  it  may  be  difficult,  under  any  circumstances, 
even  for  a  land  force,  to  carry  on  a  siege  against  it  by  regular 
approaches.  Probably,  however,  it  may  be  possible  to  estab 
lish  an  efficient  blockade  both  by  land  and  sea,  so  as  to 
ensure  its  reduction  by  starvation.  To  effect  this  an  occu 
pation  of  the  Crimea  in  force  would  be  required. 

6  The  British  troops  in  the  East  amount  to  30,000  effective 
men.  The  French  speak  of  80,000,  and  probably  40,000 
may  be  available  for  such  a  service  ;  while  the  Turks  should 
now  be  in  a  condition  to  send  from  30  to  40,000  of  their 
army  from  the  Danube,  with  a  large  quantity  of  siege  artil 
lery,  which  they  certainly  possess. 

'  With  a  combined  army  of  110,000  men  we  need  not  fear 
to  undertake  the  expedition. 

'  The  question  would  then  only  remain  as  to  the  best 
mode  of  conducting  it. 

'  The  first  difficulty  is  the  absence  of  all  information  as  to 
the  Crimea  itself,  which  can  in  any  way  be  relied  upon.  We 


1854  FOR  INVASION  OF  THE   CRIMEA.  85 

are  equally  ignorant  as  to  its  population,  its  harbours,  its 
rivers  and  roads,  its  means  of  supplying  troops,  and  the 
amount  of  the  Russian  force  employed  in  it.'  To  meet  this 
difficulty,  the  Memorandum  suggests,  roving  expeditions 
should  be  made  by  our  steam  squadron  to  all  parts  of  the 
coast — landings  should  be  effected  where  possible,  and  some 
of  the  inhabitants  carried  off  and  subjected  to  cross-exami 
nation. 

How  and  when  to  land  was  the  next  question.  '  The  point 
selected,'  the  Prince  continues,  'should  be  such  as  would 
bring  us  nearest  to  Sebastopol,  without  exposing  us  to  in 
terruption  in  our  early  operations  from  its  garrison,  and  at 
the  same  time  command  and  cut  off  its  communications 
from  the  interior.'  Into  this  branch  of  the  question  he  then 
goes  in  considerable  detail,  founding  his  observations  on  the 
map  of  the  Crimea  copied  by  Major  Jervis  from  the  Russian 
official  map  of  1837,  which  was  subsequently  used  by  Lord 
Raglan  for  the  expedition.  The  plateau  between  the  Rivers 
Katscha  and  Belbek  seemed  to  the  Prince  to  be  well  adapted 
for  the  formation  of  an  entrenched  camp,  with  a  view  to  the 
object  aimed  at,  and  to  otfer,  from  the  nature  of  the  ground 
and  its  command  of  the  roads  to  Sebastopol,  a  secure  position 
for  the  invaders,  and  an  excellent  basis  for  an  attack  on 
Sebastopol.  When,  however,  the  Allies  reached  this  ground 
after  the  battle  of  the  Alma,  it  disclosed  features  which 
woidd  have  made  a  descent  there  most  dangerous,  if  not 
impossible.  The  Prince  then  goes  on  to  suggest  that  the 
attention  of  the  Russians  should  be  drawn  away  from  the 
points  of  invasion  by  attacks  from  the  sea  on  other  parts  of 
the  coast  of  the  Crimea,  during  which  a  landing  might  be 
effected  at  the  place  selected,  and  time  be  gained  for 
securing  the  position  by  field-works  and  entrenchments. 
6  From  this  position,  should  it  not  appear  advisable  to  direct 
an  immediate  attack  upon  Sebastopol  itself,  such  heights 


#6  PRINCE  ON  INVASION  OF  CRIMEA.  1854 

might  probably  be  gained  in  rear  of  the  harbour  as  would 
give  the  means  of  throwing  shells  among  the  shipping  and 
into  the  dockyard.' 

To  seize  the  isthmus  of  Perekop,  or  to  take  up  a  position 
to  the  south  of  it,  so  as  to  prevent  the  advance  of  reinforce 
ments  to  Sebastopol  from  that  side,  might  also,  continues 
the  Prince,  be  a  matter  for  consideration  ;  but  this  ought 
not  to  be  done  at  any  risk  to  the  security  of  the  main  body 
of  the  invading  army,  or  its  efficiency  for  the  investment  of 
Sebastopol. 

4  It  is  idle,  perhaps,'  says  the  Prince  in  conclusion,  '  to 
speculate  at  this  distance,  and  without  better  information, 
on  the  mode  of  besieging  Sebastopol.  But  we  may  be  jus 
tified  in  contemplating  its  possible  investment  by  an  army 
from  60,000  to  70,000  men,  covered  by  another  from  30,000 
to  40,000  strong — the  communication  of  the  investing  forces 
with  the  sea  maintained,  and  the  mouth  of  the  harbour 
blockaded,  in  hoping  for  its  fall.' 

It  is  probable  that  no  one,  either  Englishman  or  French 
man,  had  at  this  time  gone  more  carefully  into  the  subject 
discussed  in  this  Memorandum  than  the  Prince,  for  among 
his  multifarious  pursuits  none  seem  to  have  more  interested 
his  attention  than  those  of  the  military  tactician  and  strate 
gist.  We  are  not  in  a  position  to  say,  however,  whether  it 
ever  went  beyond  the  hands  of  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  ; 
but  those  who  are  familiar  with  what  was  subsequently  done 
to  prepare  for  the  landing  in  the  Crimea  will  know  how 
closely  the  sfceps  taken  correspond  with  the  main  sugges 
tions  of  the  Prince's  sketch. 


CHAPTER   LV. 

UNITED  as  England  and  France  now  were  in  an  enterprise 
for  the  success  of  which  mutual  accord  and   loyalty  were  in 
dispensable,  it  was  natural  the  Emperor  of  the  French  should 
seek  to  establish  personal  relations  between  himself  and  the 
Court    of   England  ;    as     these,    while     gratifying   his    own 
ambition,   might  help    to    draw    closer  the  political  under 
standing  with  France,  which  in  the  interest  of  both  nations 
it  was  most  desirable  to  cement.     The  first  approaches  with 
this  view  came  naturally  from  the  French  side.    The  Emperor 
had  decided  on  establishing   during  the  summer  a  camp  of 
100,000  men  between  Boulogne  and  St.  Omer,  and  early  in 
June  he  asked  Lord  Cowley  as  a  friend, '  whether  he  thought  an 
invitation  to  Prince  Albert  to  come  and  see  the  French  army 
there  would  be  acceptable.'     In  communicating  this  circum 
stance  to  Lord  Clarendon,  Lord  Cowley  mentioned  that  he  was 
sure  one  of  the  great  objects  of  the  Emperor,  in  seeking  this 
interview,  was  the  hope,  by  personal  communication,  of  dis 
pelling  the  prejudice  which  he  supposed  to  exist  against  him. 
However  this  might  be,  the  political  advantages  likely  to 
result  from  gratifying  the  Emperor's  wish  were  obvious.     A 
visit  from  the  Consort  of  the  Queen  of  England  could  not  fail 
to  raise  his  position  with  his  subjects,  and  to  strengthen  his 
hands  as  our  ally.    '  Nor,'  added  Lord  Cowley,  '  in  calculating 
the  advantages  which  may  result  from  a  compliance  with  the 
Emperor's  desire,  can  I  forget  the  impression   which  Prince 
Albert's  sound  understanding  must  make  upon  His  Majesty, 
or  the  results  which  it  may  produce.' 


88         CORRESPONDENCE   OF  FRENCH  EMPEROR    1854 

The  course  prescribed  by  the  interests  of  the  country  was 
so  clear,  that  the  Prince  could  not  hesitate  for  a  moment  in 
letting  it  be  known  that  the  proposed  invitation  would  be 
accepted.  It  came  in  the  following  letter  : — 

'  Mon  Frere, — Votre  Altesse  Royale  sait  que  mettant  en 
pratique  sa  propre  idee,  et  voulant  prouver  une  determination 
de  soutenir  jusqu'au  bout  la  lutte  que  nous  avons  com- 
mencee  ensemble,  j'ai  decide  la  reunion  d'une  armee  entre 
St.-Omer  et  Boulogne.  Je  n'ai  pas  besoin  de  dire  a  votre 
Altesse  quel  plaisir  j'aurais  a  la  voir  et  combien  je  serais 
heureux  de  lui  montrer  mes  troupes ;  je  suis  d'ailleurs  per 
suade  que  les  liens  personnels  contribueront  encore  a  cimenter 
1'union  si  heureusement  etablie  entre  deux  grands  peuples. 
Je  vous  prie  de  presenter  a  la  Heine  mes  respectueux  hom- 
mages  et  de  recevoir  1'expression  de  1'estime  et  de  la  sincere 
affection  que  je  vous  ai  vouees.  Sur  ce,  mon  Frere.  je  prie 
Dieu,  t^ii'fl  vous  ait  en  sa  sainte  et  digne  garde  ! 

6  NAPOLEON. 

'St.- Cloud,  le  3  Juillet  18o4.' 
To  this  the  Prince  promptly  replied  :— 

'  Sire  et  cher  Frere, — C'est  avec  une  bien  vive  satisfaction 
que  je  viens  de  recevoir  la  gracieuse  et  aimable  lettre  que 
V.  M.  a  bien  voulu  m'adresser.  Le  desir  qu'Elle  y  te- 
moigne  de  me  voir  au  camp  de  St.-Omer,  ainsi  que  les  termes 
si  aimables  dans  lesquels  Elle  a  daigne  Pexprimer,  me  font 
un  devoir  d'y  satisfaire ;  et  ce  devoir,  je  vous  prie  de  le 
croire,  me  sera  bien  doux  a  remplir,  cornme  il  me  procurera 
le  plaisir  de  faire  la  connaissance  personnelle  de  votre  Majeste 
et  de  pouvoir  lui  exprimer  en  personne,  quel  prix  la  Reine  et 
moi  nous  attachons  a  1'amitie  et  a  1'intimite  des  rapports 
qui  unissent  les  gouvernements  et  les  peuples  de  nos  deux 
pays. 

'  II  me  sera  en  outre  du  plus  haut  interet  d'assister  a  une 


1854  WITH  THE  PRINCE   CONSORT.  89 

concentration  de  troupes  de  cette  noble  armee  rangee  dans 
ce  moment  a  cote  de  la  notre  pour  la  defense  du  droit  public 
Europeen,  et  de  voir  ces  troupes  commandees  par  votre 
Majeste  elle-meme. 

6  La  Eeine  me  charge  de  ses  sinceres  remerciments  pour 
1'aimable  souvenir  de  votre  Majeste,  et  desire  d'etre  rappelee 
a  celui  de  1'Imperatrice. 

4  C'est  avec  les  sentiments  d'attachement  et  devouement 
bien  sinceres  que  je  suis, 

'  Sire  et  cher  Frere, 

'  de  Yotre  Majeste  Imperiale 

'  le  bon  frere, 

6  ALBERT. 

'  Buckingham  Palace,  le  5  do  Juillet  1854.'  l 

Writing  to  Baron  Stockmar  a  few  days  afterwards  (18th 
July),  the  Queen  announces  the  arrangement  thus  : — '  I  may 
now  disclose  a  secret,  viz.,  Albert  will  go  early  in  September 
for  two  or  three  days  to  the  camp  at  St.  Omer.  The  Em 
peror  wished  it  much,  and  it  was  also  wished  here,  and 
thought  a  right  and  natural  thing  to  do,  considering  that  our 
armies  are  fighting  together.'  Why  and  how  warmly  the 
Baron  approved  the  projected  visit,  he  tells  the  Prince  in  a 
letter  from  Coburg  a  few  days  afterwards  (24th  July) : — 

'  I  highly  approve  your  intention  of  going  in  September  to 
the  camp  at  St.  Omer.  As  a  general  rule,  English  politicians 
do  not  sufficiently  observe  the  state  of  things  on  the  Continent 
with  their  own  eyes.  From  everything  that  induces  people 
in  an  influential  position  to  make  such  personal  inspection 
I  anticipate  good,  and  from  the  present  occasion  more  than 

1  The  same  day  Lord  Clarendon  writes  to  the  Prince:  'I  have  the  honour 
to  return  the  Emperor's  letter,  and  the  answer  of  your  Royal  Highness,  which 
is  quite  excellent,  and  must,  I  am  sure,  be  productive  of  good  effect.  I  can  see 
no  objection,  but  the  contrary,  to  your  Royal  Highness  addressing  the  Empe 
ror  as  "frere,"  and  Lord  Aberdeen,  whom  I  have  consulted,  is  of  the  same 
opinion.' 


90  WANT  OF   UNION  IN  CABINET.  1854 

usual,  inasmuch  as  the  good  or  evil  destiny  of  the  present 
time  will  directly  and  chiefly  depend  upon  a  rational,  honour 
able,  and  resolute  alliance  between  England  and  France. 
Once  the  war  has  begun,  the  weal  and  woe  of  these  countries, 
both  at  home  and  abroad,  as  indeed  of  all  Europe,  will 
depend  upon  whether  or  not  the  Allied  Powers  shall  vindi 
cate  successfully  the  principles  of  honour  and  justice,  and 
shall  not  upon  any  consideration  be  induced  to  conclude  a 
peace  which  shall  have  the  effect  of  confirming  again  by 
treaty,  and  for  a  lengthened  period,  the  preponderance  of 
Russia,  and  therefore  of  Barbarism  over  Civilisation.' 

If  ever  a  Ministry,  strong  in  its  own  unity  of  counsels  and 
mutual  trust,  and  strong  also  in  Parliament,  was  necessary, 
it  was  so  at  the  present  time.  But  notoriously  discontents 
reigned  within  the  Cabinet  itself.  Two  at  least  of  its  members, 
Lord  Russell  and  Lord  Palmerston,  would  have  preferred  to 
lead  rather  than  to  be  led.  Each  had  his  partisans  within 
and  without  the  Cabinet,  and  it  was  apparent  to  all  the 
world  that  no  cordial  unanimity  existed  between  the  Peelite 
section  of  the  Ministry  and  their  colleagues.  In  the  House 
of  Commons  the  followers  of  the  Government  showed  no 
symptoms  of  coherence.  The  head  of  the  Ministry  was  a 
favourite  object  of  attack  with  them,  no  less  than  with  the 
Opposition.  Nor  was  this  met  by  that  display  of  loyalty  on 
the  part  of  his  supporters,  which  the  head  of  the  Government 
has  a  right  to  expect.  It  was  impossible  for  a  Ministry  thus 
obviously  not  at  one  with  itself  to  command  either  the 
respect  or  obedience  of  the  House,  and,  having  themselves 
encouraged  insubordination  against  their  chief,  some  of  its 
members  were  not  entitled  to  complain,  if  they  found  them 
selves  thwarted  in  their  measures  through  a  similar  disregard 
of  party  ties  by  the  body  of  the  Liberal  party. 

This  want  of  attachment   and    support   by    his   nominal 


1 854      DIFFICULTIES    WITHIN  THE  MINISTRY.          91 

friends  was  so  keenly  felt  by  Lord  John  Russell,  that  he 
wished  to  resign  the  lead  of  the  House  (14th  July),  and 
only  reluctantly  agreed  to  reconsider  his  decision.  A  meet 
ing  was  summoned  for  the  17th,  at  which  180  members  of 
the  House  of  Commons  attended,  in  which,  as  reported  by 
Lord  Aberdeen  to  the  Queen,  *  many  hostile  speeches  were 
made,  and  much  confusion  prevailed.' 2  The  support  of  the 
party  was,  however,  secured  at  this  meeting  to  the  Govern 
ment  measure  for  separating  from  the  office  of  Colonial 
Secretary  the  duties  of  Secretary  at  War,  with  which  these 
had  hitherto  been  combined,  and  the  way  was  prepared  for 
carrying  a  few  nights  afterwards  a  vote  of  credit  for 
3,000, 000£.  to  meet  the  exigencies  of  the  war  during  the 
approaching  recess.  This  vote,  in  which  many  of  the  Oppo 
sition  might  be  expected  to  join,  was,  moreover,  the  most 
favourable  issue  for  the  Government  which  could  be  raised. 

Writing  (29th  July)  from  Osborne  to  Baron  Stockmar, 
the  Prince  says  : — 

'  The  aspect  of  politics  is  very  singular.  The  Ministry 
here  has  had  an  explanation  with  its  supporters  at  Lord 
John's  house,  in  which  their  total  disorganisation  made  it 
self  apparent ;  these  supporters  have  since  made  the  most 
vehement  attacks  on  particular  Ministers,  especially  Aber 
deen,  brought  forward  a  motion  against  the  Government, 
and  lost  it  without  a  division. 

'  A  vote  of  credit  of  3,0003OOOZ.  for  the  Recess  has  become 
a  vote  of  confidence  for  the  Ministry.  Aberdeen  himself 
is  in  deep  distress  at  the  probable  death  of  his  eldest  son, 
as  well  as  the  great  amount  of  injustice,  not  to  say  folly,  on 

2  In  replying  to  Lord  John  Russell's  report  of  the  meeting,  the  Quern  says 
(19th  July) :  '  The  party  which  supports  the  Government  is  certainly  a  strange 
basis  for  a  Government  to  rest  upon  ;  but,  such  as  it  is,  one  muf-t  make  the 
best  of  it.  and  nothing  will  contribute  more  to  keeping  it  together  than  to  give 
it  the  impression  that  the  Government  is  thoroughly  united.' 


92  PRINCE   TO  BARON  STOCKMAR.  1854 

the  part  of  the  public.  With  them  the  steam  is  fairly  up, 
as  it  ought  to  be  in  going  to  war,  and  Aberdeen  is  a  standing 
reproach  in  their  eyes,  because  he  cannot  share  the  enthusiasm 
while  it  is  his  part  to  lead  it.  Nevertheless,  he  does  his 
duty,  and  keeps  the  whole  thing  together,  and  is  the  only 
guarantee  that  the  war  will  not  degenerate  into  crack- 
brained,  fruitless  ....  absurdities,3  which  are  certain  to 
turn  out  solely  for  the  advantage  of  Eussia.  Austria  has 
now  come  to  the  point  where  she  must  make  up  her  mind, 
and  will  no  doubt  conclude  an  alliance,  offensive  and  de 
fensive,  with  the  Western  Powers,  which  will  also  provide 
for  the  accomplishment  of  certain  defined  objects^  such  as 
the  evacuation  of  the  Principalities,  the  abolition  of  the 
Eussian  protectorate  over  them,  the  cancelling  of  all  pre 
vious  Eussian  treaties,  and  the  substitution  of  an  European 
for  a  Eussian  protectorate  of  the  Christians,  or  rather  of 
European  protection  for  a  Eussian  protectorate,  the  opening 
of  the  Danube  for  the  commerce  of  the  world,  in  accordance 
with  the  principles  of  what  was  settled  at  the  Congress  of 
Vienna,  &c.  &c.  Prussia's  conduct  is  truly  revolting,  and 
the  King  is  looked  upon  by  all  political  men  here  with 
profound  contempt.  Still,  I  do  not  think  that  Austria  has 
anything  to  apprehend  from  him,  as  it  professes  to  have,  by 
way  of  excuse  for  its  own  temporising.  Sweden  would 
easily  be  induced  to  join,  supposing  Austria  to  advance,  and 
Austria  will  bleed  to  death  financially  if  she  does  not  help 
speedily  to  bring  the  war  to  an  end. 

6  The  inactivity  of  our  army  and  fleet  is  attacked  on  all 
sides.  The  Commanders-in-chief  have  carte  blanche  to  do 
what  they  can,  but  what  they  can  or  cannot  do  depends  in 
so  many  ways  on  Austria's  decision,  that  any  decisive  action 
by  them  as  matters  now  stand  is  not  to  be  expected. 

8  Such  as  projects  for  the  reconstitntion  of  Poland,  and  for  depriving 
Eussia  of  Finland,  and  of  the  Crimea,  &c. 


1854  BARON  STOCKMAR  IN  ANSWER.  93 

'  Uncle  Leopold  has  just  written  to  me  to  say  that  he  has 
been  invited  with  his  son  to  his  neighbour's  camp  and  will 
go.  He  wishes  to  have  his  visit  over  before  I  come,  and 
names  the  1st  of  September  as  the  earliest  day  he  can  be 
received.  On  the  5th  the  coast  would  be  clear  for  me,  and 
I  should  then  relieve  him. 

'  Now  farewell.  If  my  letter  be  confused,  ascribe  this  to 
my  being  in  truth  intolerably  out  of  sorts,  and  give  us  the 
hope  of  seeing  you  soon  again.' 

The  Prince's  mention  of  his  own  indisposition  seems  to 
have  alarmed  the  Baron,  who  knew  well  both  how  little  his 
correspondent  was  disposed  to  complain  of  his  own  health, 
and  how  heavily  he  had  been  taxed  for  many  months  in  both 
body  and  mind.  In  his  reply  he  says  : — 

'  I  have  to  offer  your  Royal  Highness  my  best  thanks  for 
your  gracious  letter  of  the  29th.  How  closely  you  are 
entwined  round  my  heart  I  feel  most  vividly  when  I  hear, 
as  I  do  now,  that  you  are  unwell  and  morally  unstrung. 
The  desire  to  be  near  you,  to  see  you  with  my  own  eyes,  to 
hear  you,  and  to  be  able  to  comfort  you,  rises  to  a  pitch  of 
actual  impatience.. 

'  People  write,  but  this  is  only  to  calm  my  uneasiness, 
that  it  is  no  more  than  an  ordinary  cold,  such  as  you  have 
had  before.  But  this  consolation  fails  in  its  object,  as  I 
rather  judge  by  what  the  patient  says  of  himself  than  by  the 
opinion  of  any  third  person. 

' .  .  .  Upon  the  whole  I  feel  rather  better,  so  that  I 
am  speculating  on  being  able  to  go  to  Brussels  towards  the 
end  of  this  month.  There  I  can  easily  hear  of  any  move 
ments  your  Royal  Highness  may  be  contemplating  about 
that  time,  and  after  all  a  meeting  may  perhaps  be  arranged, 
as  to  which  I  have  had  many  and  grave  doubts  this  year. 

'  Coburg,  4th  August,  1854:.' 


94  PRINCE'S  CORRESPONDENCE  1854 

The  Prince,  who  was  delighted  at  the  prospect  here  held 
out  of  a  meeting  with  his  friend,  after  an  absence  of  over 
eighteen  months,  urged  him  in  reply  not  to  delay  his  journey 
too  long.  On  the  8th  of  August  he  wrote  : — 

'Uncle  Leopold  goes  with  his  son  Leopold  on  the  1st  of 
September  to  the  Camp  of  St.  Omer,  or  more  properly  Bou 
logne  ;  the  days  for  my  visit  there  will  fall  between  the  3rd 
and  I Oth.  After  my  return  Clark  insists  upon  our  enjoying 
some  Highland  air  before  the  rains  of  autumn  set  in,  and  I 
feel  that  Victoria  needs  it  as  well  as  myself.  I  cannot  shake 
off  my  cough.  Still,  it  is  rather  better.  ...  I  hope  the 
state  of  affairs,  political  and  military,  will  not  prevent  us 
from  making  our  visit  to  Balmoral.  Mountain  air  would 
certainly  do  you,  too,  a  great  deal  of  good.  And  if  the  one 
small  room,  which  is  all  we  have  to  offer  you  in  that  little 
place,  be  neither  large  nor  commodious  enough,  Clark  would 
be  delighted  to  put  you  up  at  Birkhall,  which  is  no  great 
distance  off.' 

On  the  12th  of  August  Parliament  was  prorogued  by  the 
Queen  in  person,  Her  Majesty  coming  from  Osborne  for  the 
purpose.  The  Court  returned  there  the  same  day.  Cholera 
was  then  prevalent  in  London ;  but  from  the  East  the  worst 
news  were  now  arriving  daily  of  its  ravages  in  the  Allied 
armies,  where,  the  Prince's  Diary  notes  (21st  August),  'we 
have  lost  500,  and  the  French  5,000  men,  and  are  quite 
demoralised.'  A  few  days  later  came  the  tidings  that  it  had 
broken  out  in  the  fleet  also,  and  that  it  was  uncertain 
whether  the  state  of  the  army  would  admit  of  the  expedition 
to  the  Crimea  being  carried  out.  The  Prince's  sympathies 
were  at  this  time  deeply  moved  by  hearing  unexpectedly  •? 
the  death  of  the  brother  of  Baron  Stockmar,  and  he  wrote  :— 

'  A  piece  of  news  from  Munich,  which  I  found  last  night 


1 854  WITH  BARON  STOCKMAR.  95 

in  the  Kolner  Zeitung,  has  cut  me  to  the  soul !  I  flew  in 
thought  to  you,  and  can  picture  vividly  to  myself  the  deep 
grief  which  so  sad  an  event  must  cause  you.  Is  it  then  true, 
that  you  have  lost  your  beloved  brother  ?  The  circumstan 
tiality  of  the  account  leaves  me  scarcely  any  room  for  doubt, 
and  yet  I  go  on  searching  for  reasons  not  to  believe  it.  Let 
me  know  soon  by  some  third  hand,  how  you  are,  for  this 
heavy  blow  must  have  told  upon  you  greatly.  Would  I 
might  be  with  you,  to  help  to  comfort  you ! 

6  Here  too  we  have  had  many  sad  cases,  occasioned  by 
the  spread  of  cholera,  among  which  the  most  noteworthy 
is  the  death  of  Lord  Jocelyn  in  Lady  Palmerston's  drawing- 
room  ;  the  malady  carried  him  off  in  a  couple  of  hours. 

'  Osborne,  17th  August,  1854.' 

This  brought  from  the  Baron  the  following  reply : — 

6  My  brother  died  of  cholera  at  Munich  on  the  10th  of 
this  month,  in  less  than  eleven  hours,  and  after  the  most 
acute  suffering.  For  the  domestic  happiness  of  the  family., 
for  the  private  business  of  the  King,  his  death  is  a  most 
serious  loss.  As  we  have  no  relations  in  Munich,  he  died 
alone  and  among  strangers — a  circumstance  which  imposes 
upon  me  great  additional  trouble,  of  which  I  do  not  see  the 
end,  as  to  the  arrangements  about  his  funeral  and  succes 
sion. 

'  As  he  was  a  philanthropically  minded  man,  to  an  extent 
not  often  seen,  he  had  made  for  himself  a  wide  circle  of 
friends,  who  now  from  numerous  quarters  pay  an  honourable 
tribute  to  his  character.  .  .  . 

'  My  wish  and  purpose  still  are,  so  soon  as  business  and 
health  will  permit,  to  go  to  Brussels,  and  thence  to  England, 
My  chief  motive  is  the  yearning  to  see  you  once  more  in 
this  life.  Shall  I  be  able  to  do  this  ?  It  is  uncertain.  In 
these  last  years  I  have  grown  older  and  feebler.  The  agita- 


96  LETTER  FROM  KING   OF  PRUSSIA.  1854 

tion,  the  grief  of  the  last  fortnight,  are  not  calculated  to 
make  me  strong  and  young.  .  .  . 

'Most  earnestly  do  I  entreat  you  to  be  careful  of  your 
health.  Avoid  getting  chilled,  overheated,  or  wet.  Be 
prudent  about  diet, 

'24th  August,  1854.' 

On  the  21st  of  August  the  Prince  had  received  from  the 
King  of  Prussia  a  letter,  which  he  at  once  forwarded  to  Lord 
Clarendon,  with  a  translation  for  the  use  of  himself  and  Lord 
Aberdeen.  In  sending  it,  the  Prince  wrote,  '  You  will  think 
it  curious  and  interesting  in  many  points,  and  find  it  verifies 
that  fear  is  his  strongest  motive  of  action.  That  he  should 
have  held  strong  language  to  the  Emperor  of  Russia  is  of 
importance,  as  well  as  the  declaration  that  he  will  not  allow 
Austria  to  be  attacked.  This  corresponds  with  what  I  always 
told  you, — that  Austria  need  not  be  afraid  of  the  King's 
playing  false  to  her.  Prussia  would  at  any  time  rejoice  at  a 
difficulty  for  Austria.  The  King  will  always  be  ready  to 
sacrifice  even  Prussian  interests  for  Austria.' 4 

The  main  object  of  the  letter  appears  to  have  been  to  find 
out  whether  our  fleet  was  to  winter  in  the  Baltic.  '  If,'  the 
King  wrote,  '  I  knew  only  that  the  winter  quarters  of  the 
Baltic  Fleet  will  give  no  protection  to  our  coasts,  we  should 
then  know  how  to  protect  ourselves.'  He  had  recently  been 
fortifying  Dantzig  towards  the  sea.  Did  he  wish  on  the  one 
hand  to  explain  this  away,  as  not  an  act  of  hostility  to  the 
Western  Powers,  but  as  a  defence  against  Eussia — and  then, 
if  we  said  we  should  not  defend  him  by  sea,  to  be  free  on  the 
other  to  maintain  that  he  was  bound  to  defend  himself  by 
fortifications  ?  After  hearing  from  Lord  Clarendon,  with  the 

4  The  King  ha  1  written  :  '  The  Emperor  Nicholas  knows  at  this  hour,  from 
my  own  hand,  that  the  first  step  across  the  Austrian  frontier  will  oblige  mo  to 
meet  him  with  my  army  and  that  of  the  German  Confederation.' 


1 854  THE  PRINCES  REPLY.  97 

views  of  Lord  Aberdeen  and  himself,  the  Prince   wrote  the 
following  reply  to  the  King : — 

'  Your  Majesty's  letter  of  the  1 6th  inst.  reached  me  safely,  and 
I  shall  do  my  best  to  give  Your  Majesty  the  explanations  you 
desire;  although  I  fear  they  will  be  found  unsatisfactory  by  you. 

'No  decision  has  yet  been  come  to  about  the  winter 
quarters  of  the  fleet,  and  the  recent  occupation  of  the  Aland 
Islands  introduces  a  new  element  into  the  calculation,  which 
will  have  to  be  dealt  with,  before  a  decision  can  be  come 
to.  This  much,  however,  is  certain,  that  the  object  of  our 
operations  in  the  Baltic  is,  to  shut  up  the  Russian  fleet  in 
harbour,  or  to  annihilate  it  if  it  ventures  out.  So  long  as 
there  is  a  possibility  of  its  venturing  out,  our  fleet  is  sure  to 
be  on  the  look-out  for  it.  The  circumstances — bad  weather 
or  ice — which  would  drive  our  ships  away,  would  make  it 
equally  impossible  for  the  Russian  fleet  to  move.  I  see, 
therefore,  no  peril  for  Your  Majesty's  seaboard,  even  should 
Russia  show  any  special  inclination  to  assail  Prussia.  So 
little  able  are  England  and  France  up  to  this  moment  to 
conceive  the  possibility  of  such  a  danger,  that  they  could 
only  regard  Your  Majesty's  orders  for  the  fortification  of 
Dantzig  seaward  as  an  act  of  hostility  towards  themselves. 
It  appears  that  this  is  the  impression  which  the  measure  has 
produced  upon  the  people  of  Germany.  Under  these  circum 
stances  I  am  glad,  for  Your  Majesty's  sake,  that  you  did  not 
make  an  official  appeal  to  the  Queen's  Government,  which 
very  possibly  would  have  replied,  "  Prussia  has  no  right  to 
claim  protection  for  her  harbours  from  us,  so  long  as  she  is 
not  our  ally  against  Russia  ;  nay,  while  on  the  contrary  she 
makes  use  of  her  neutrality  to  give  Russia  the  means  of 
pushing  her  trade  through  these  ports,  and  so  thwarting  us 
in  one  of  our  chief  measures  for  carrying  on  the  war." 

4  In  this  Your  Majesty  will  no  doubt  find  an  outburst  of 

VOL.  III.  H 


98  LETTER  BY   THE  PRINCE  1854 

the  unfortunate  animosity  of  English  diplomacy  to  your 
person,  of  which  you  complain.  I  should  not  be  dealing 
with  you  as  a  true  friend,  were  I  not  frankly  to  avow  that 
this  animosity  does  in  fact  exist,  not  merely,  however,  in 
English  diplomacy,  but  also  in  the  English  nation,  the 
French  nation,  and  also,  unless  I  am  mistaken,  in  a  consider 
able  section  of  the  Germans.  And  Your  Majesty  will 
scarcely  say  that  it  is  wholly  unjustifiable  if  you  recall  the 
events  of  the  last  few  months. 

'The  four  Powers  acted  in  perfect  harmony  up  to  last 
March,  when  Prussia  rejected  the  Quadruple  Treaty  which 
Austria,  with  the  wisest  intentions,  had  proposed.  To  satisfy 
Prussia,  the  much  less  binding  Protocol  of  the  9th  of  April 
was  substituted  for  it ;  and  simultaneously  with  the  closing 
of  the  Chambers,  all  Your  Majesty's  servants  were  dismissed, 
who  were  well  affected  to  the  Western  Powers  and  who  stood 
in  the  bad  graces  of  the  Emperor  of  Kussia.  Since  that 
time  Prussia  has  been  the  chief  drawback  to  the  energetic 
adhesion  of  Austria  to  the  Western  Powers,  and  the  cause 
why  it  has  been  to  a  certain  degree  possible  for  Russia  to 
thwart  the  policy  of  Austria.  The  Prussian  ambassador  was 
forbidden  to  take  part  in  the  Conferences  at  Vienna  in  July, 
whereby  the  three  Powers  felt  themselves  almost  compelled 
to  act  alone  ;  besides  which,  at  the  most  critical  moment, 
and  at  the  most  favourable  season  of  the  year,  three  weeks 
were  lost  before  the  Ultimatum  could  reach  St.  Petersburg, 
which  could  not  be  despatched  from  Vienna  till  the  10th 
inst.  In  short  Eussia  obtained  from  Prussia  that  neutralite 
bienveillante  which  it  had  desired  from  the  outset,  but 
which,  in  the  same  degree  in  which  it  is  bienveillante  to 
Russia,  could  not  but  be  regarded  by  the  Western  Powers 
as  hostile  to  them.  I  am  quite  aware  that  you  do  all  this 
in  order  to  secure  for  Prussia  the  blessings  of  peace,  but  you 
must  not  be  surprised  if  the  West  shows  displeasure  towards 


1854  TO   THE  KING   OF  PRUSSIA.  99 

a  Government  whose  policy  is  directed  solely  to  protracting 
the  state  of  war,  to  throwing  obstacles  in  the  way  of  peace, 
and  flinging  wide  the  entrance  for  the  spirit  of  revolution  ; 
which  proffers  Russia  the  most  important  services,  by  keeping 
Grermany  divided,  by  crippling  Austria,  by  fostering  Russian 
commerce  ;  and  in  this  way  prevents  the  European  Question, 
which  has  been  raised  by  the  misdeeds  of  Russia,  from  being 
settled  in  the  interest  of  Europe,  and  by  an  united  Europe. 

'  Whether  the  Emperor  of  Russia  will  be  permanently  bene 
fited  by  this,  I  must  leave  to  time  to  show.  For  the  longer 
the  war  continues,  the  heavier  will  be  the  conditions  which 
the  Western  Powers  will  feel  themselves  justified  in  exacting. 
And  the  longer  Russia  is  misled  into  relying  upon  the  support 
of  Prussia,  the  more  grievous  will  be  her  disappointment, — 
for  of  these  in  this  imbroglio  she  has  already  had  so  many— 
when  Prussia  is  brought  to  the  point,  where  she  must  act  up 
to  her  assurances.  The  animosity  of  Russia,  of  which  Your 
Majesty  is  already  apprehensive,  will  then  fall  exclusively 
upon  Prussia,  and  I  tremble  at  the  thought,  that  she  shall  be 
held  responsible  both  by  Austria  and  the  West  for  all  the 
suffering  and  loss,  which  a  well-timed  combined  action  of  all 
the  Powers  would  have  averted.  The  angry  feeling  which 
now  prevails  is  an  indication  not  to  be  mistaken  of  what 
may  be  expected.  May  the  Almighty  direct  all  for  the  best! 

6  With    Victoria's    warmest    greetings,    I    remain,    Your 

Majesty's  most  faithful  servant  and  kinsman, 

'  ALBERT. 

'Oslorne.  28th  August,  1854.' 

The  time  for  the  Prince's  visit  to  France  was  now  drawing 
near,  and  on  the  29th  of  August  the  Queen  writes  to  King 
Leopold: — 'To  our  great  joy,  Stockmar  writes  on  the  22nd, 
that  he  intends  to  set  out  shortly  for  England,  which  will  be  a 
great  pleasure,  and  I  trust  he  will  be  here  during  Albert's 
absence.  This  would  be  a  great  support  and  comfort  to  me, 

H  2 


ioo  THE  PRINCE'S   VISIT  1854 

as  you  know  how  forlorn  and  melancholy  I  am  when  he  is 
away.  Moreover,  this  will  be  the  longest  absence,  since  the 
one  ten  years  ago,  when  that  dear  angel,  now  no  longer  with 
us,'5  comforted  and  supported  me,  and  when  you  also  were  so 
kind  and  good  to  me.  He  leaves  me  on  Monday  evening 
(4th)  and  I  trust  will  be  with  me  again  early  on  Saturday 
the  9th.' 

The  Queen's  hopes  as  to  Stockmar  were  disappointed,  as 
he  was  not  able  to  come  to  England  for  some  weeks.  The 
Prince  left  Osborne  on  the  evening  of  the  3rd  of  September, 
accompanied  by  the  Queen  in  the  Fairy  as  far  as  Spit- 
head.  Along  with  him  were  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  Lord 
Seaton,  General  Wetherall,  General  Grey,  Captain  (now 
Lord)  De  Eos,  and  Captain  (now  Colonel)  Du  Plat.  The 
following  passages,  translated  from  the  Prince's  letters  to  the 
Queen,  will  be  the  best  record  of  the  incidents  of  this  memor 
able  visit : — 

'"Victoria  and  Albert,"  4th  September,  1854. 

'Ten  miles  from  Boulogne.     Nine  o'clock. 

'  Whilst  you  sit  at  breakfast  with  the  children,  and  are 
teased  by  the  wasps,  of  which  Arthur  is  horribly  afraid,  and 
makes  grimaces  at,  I  sit  in  the  cabin  at  my  table  (yours  is 
there  empty),  and  wish  you  on  paper  a  friendly  good-morning. 
The  night  was  superb.  After  we  had  thrown  you,  by  blue 
lights,  a  parting  salutation,  which  you  returned  from  the 
Fairy i  following  it  by  one  last  greeting  under  a  flare  of 
torches,  which  was  left  unanswered,  we  travellers  sat  upon 
deck  till  half-past  eleven,  in  the  glorious  moonlight.  It  was 
close  upon  twelve  when  I  got  to  bed  in  the  cabin,  which 
had  a  very  blank  and  desolate  look. 

'  When  I  got  up  this  morning  about  seven,  in  splendid 
weather,  the  first  news  was,  that  our  stupid  ships  of  war  were 
^  out  of  sight  astern."  They  were  not  where  they  should 
5  Louise,  the  late  Queen  of  the  Belgians. 


i854         TO  FRENCH  EMPEROR  AT  BOULOGNE.  101 

have  been,  despite  a  fourteen-hours'  start  in  advance,  and 
express  orders  "to  make  the  best  of  their  way."  So  we  shall 
have  to  run  in  without  escort,  and  without  even  having  it  in 
our  power  to  return  the  French,  salute.  Denman  is  very 
wroth  about  it,  and  we  share  all  his  annoyance,  which, 
however,  can  do  neither  him  nor  us  any  good. 

'  About  ten  we  shall  make  the  port,  and  I  have  to  get 
myself  into  full  uniform  dress  beforehand.  Shortly  after 
wards  some  further  news,  my  dear  child  ! ' 

'  Boulogne,  half-past  one  o'clock. 

'  We  have  arrived  safely,  as  the  telegraph  will  have  told 
you.  The  Emperor  met  me  on  the  quay,6  and  brought  me 
here  in  his  carriage  to  an  hotel  at  the  back  of  the  town  near 
the  railway  station,  which  he  has  hired  for  the  occasion,  but 
which  looks  more  like  an  old  French  chateau,  only  two 
stories  high,  with  long  wings,  a  paved  courtyard  and  a 
grillage  in  front. 

4  The  Emperor  has  been  very  nervous,  if  we  are  to  believe 
what  is  said  by  those  who  stood  near  him,  and  who  know  him 
well.  He  was  kindly  and  cordial,  does  not  look  so  old  or 
pale  as  his  portraits  make  him,  and  is  much  gayer  than  he  is 
generally  represented.  The  visit  cannot  fail  to  be  a  source 
of  great  satisfaction  to  him.  He  asked  me  at  once  whether 
I  could  stay  here  till  the  9th,  which  is  the  earliest  day  he  can 
get  the  troops  together  for  a  grand  review  ?  I  assured  him 
I  must  embark  again  on  the  evening  of  the  8th,  and  that 

6  '  The  Emperor,'  Lord  Cowley  wrote,  the  same  day,  to  Lord  Clarendon, 
'  had  intended  to  go  on  board  the  yacht,  but  the  Prince  was  beforehand  with 
him,  and  stepped  on  shore  as  soon  as  the  gangway  WES  established.  ...  I 
thought  the  Emperor  very  nervous  (the  first  time  1  ever  saw  him  so)  as  we 
were  driving  down  the  quay;  and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  tells  me  that  the 
tears  stood  in  His  Majesty's  eyes  while  he  expressed  the  pleasure  which  he  re 
ceived  from  this  fresh  proof  of  the  cordiality  of  the  alliance  which  England 
proffered  him.'  The  Prince  was  the  bearer  of  an  autograph  letter  to  the 
Emperor  from  the  Queen,  by  the  terms  of  which  he  was  much  gratified. 


102  LETTERS  BY   THE  PRINCE  1854 

this  was  the  latest  moment  I  could  give  him.  You  see,  a 
shorter  visit  would  have  been  a  mistake.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys 
and  Marechal  Vaillant  are  the  "  persons  of  note "  who  are 
here,  besides  General  Montebello,  whom  we  saw  at  the  camp 
in  England,  and  Colonel  Fleury  ;  all  the  other  gentlemen  are 
officers  of  no  distinction. 

6 1  have  had  two  long  talks  with  the  Emperor,  in  which  he 
spoke  very  sensibly  about  the  war  and  the  "  question  du 
jour"  People  here  are  far  from  sanguine  about  the  results 
of  the  expedition  to  the  Crimea,  very  sensitive  about  the 
behaviour  of  Sir  Charles  Napier,  scantily  satisfied  with  Lord 
Stratford ;  nevertheless,  so  far  as  the  Emperor  is  concerned, 
determined  to  consider  the  war  and  our  alliance  as  the  one 
thing  paramount,  to  which  all  other  considerations  must  give 
place.  To  all  complaints  I  have  only  replied,  that  to  carry 
public  opinion  with  us  in  England  is  the  main  point  (so  far 
as  consequences  go),  and  that  this  is  firmly  rooted  in  support 
of  the  war;  that  Sir  Charles  Napier,  Lord  Stratford,  and 
Lord  Palmerston  .are  the  three  persons  who  alone  could  carry 
on  the  war.  .  .  . 

6  Uncle  Leopold  was  here  for  a  couple  of  days,  and  left  a 
letter  for  me  ;  he  seems  to  have  preached  peace.  Pedro  [the 
young  King  of  Portugal]  was  here  yesterday  with  his  brother, 
and  made  a  very  favourable  impression.  "  II  a  tout-a-fait 
gagne  mon  cceur"  was  the  Emperor's  expression.  He  lias 
returned  to  Ostend,  and  people  here  understood  that  he  is  to 
go  to  England  ;  I  therefore  conjecture  that  he  will  pay  you 
a  visit  at  Osborne.  Should  this  be  so,  I  shall  be  greatly 
pleased  if  you  can  keep  the  young  people  till  I  return.  It 
would  be  too  sad  for  me  not  to  see  them  before  they  go  back 
to  Portugal.7 

~  The  3£ing  and  his  brother,  the  Duke  of  Oporto,  had  come  to  London  at 
the  beginning  of  June,  and  by  their  intelligence  and  fine  dispositions  had 
inspired  him  with  a  warm  attachment  for  them. 


1854  TO    THE   QUEEN.  103 

'  About  half-past  eleven  we  had  a  dejeuner  a  la  fourchette. 
The  dinner  hour  is  six.  About  four  we  are  to  ride  to  the 
camp  of  a  Division,  which  is  pitched  on  the  Dunes  near  the 
sea,  about  five  miles  from  here.  About  seven  A.M.  to-morrow 
we  go  to  St.  Omer  (thirty-two  miles  off),  where  the  whole 
day  is  to  be  devoted  to  a  review.  I  fear  this  will  leave  me 
no  time  to  write  to  you  at  any  length.  The  heat  is  fearful, 
and  my  little  room  has  the  much-lauded  "  south  aspect," 
which  has  the  effect  of  making  my  fingers  stick  to  the  paper. 

'  I  forgot  to  name  Lord  Cowley,  who  is  here,  and  makes  a 
useful  4i  go-between."  Meyer  \_Stallmeister,  or  Master  of  the 
Prince's  Stable]  is  in  a  state  of  supreme  delight  (ausseratem 
Gloriole),  and  yet  dissatisfied  that  I  will  not  put  on  the 
saddle-cloth,  as  here  everything  is  so  gorgeous. 

4  Now  I  conclude  for  the  present,  as  the  Maire  is  waiting 
for  me.' 

'  Half-past  seven  P.M. 

'  We  have  only  now  got  back  from  the  camp,  after  a  very 
fatiguing  ride  ;  the  hills  very  steep,  the  roads  detestable. 
We  went  to  two  separate  camps,  each  consisting  of  an  in 
fantry  division  of  8,000  men.  Lord  Seaton  had  a  fall  from 
Ins  horse,  but  did  himself  no  mischief.  I  must  make  haste 
with  dressing  for  dinner.  Meanwhile  the  messenger  leaves, 
so  I  must  conclude.' 

'  Boulogne,  5th  September  :  ten  P.M. 

'  Before  I  go  to  bed,  I  must  wish  you  good-night  upon 
paper,  even  though  the  wish  may  be  rather  late  in  reaching 
your  dear  hands.  I  have  to  go  out  to-morrow  morning  by 
six,  so  that  there  will  be  little  time  for  writing.  The  Em 
peror  thaws  more  and  more.  This  evening  after  dinner  I 
withdrew  with  him  to  his  sitting-room  for  half  an  hour  be 
fore  rejoining  his  guests,  in  order  that  he  might  smoke  his 
cigarette,  in  which  occupation,  to  his  amazement,  I  could 
not  keep  him  company.  He  told  me  one  of  the  deepest 


104  LETTERS  BY   THE  PRINCE  1854 

impressions  ever  made  upon  him  was  when,  after  having"  gone 
from  France  to  Eio  Janeiro  and  thence  to  the  United  States, 
and  been  recalled  to  Europe  by  the  rumour  of  his  mother's 
serious  illness,  he  arrived  in  London  shortly  after  King 
William's  death,  and  saw  you  at  the  age  of  eighteen  going 
to  open  Parliament  for  the  first  time. 

'  To-day  Soliman  Pasha  has  turned  up,  jovial  as  ever.  We 
spoke  of  military  caps :  he  remembered  one  in  the  Imperial 
army  in  1813;  one  of  the  Generals  said,  "  C'etait  les 
bonnets  a  la  Marie  Louise."  "Ah,  faime  mieux  qu'on 
les  appelle  a  la  Napoleon,  moi"  was  his  rejoinder,  with  a 
contemptuous  shrug  of  the  shoulders.  The  Empress's  bro 
ther-in-law,  the  Duke  of  Alba,  is  here.' 

'  6th  September :  half-past  s:x  A.M. 

'  (rood-morning  !  Though  my  bed  was  too  short,  the 
counterpane  too  heavy,  the  pillows  of  feathers  and  the  heat 
frightful,  I  have  slept  pretty  well,  and  am  already  booted 
and  spurred.  The  heat  in  the  dining-room  yesterday  was 
terrible.  The  weather  seems  fine  to-day,  but  windy.  I 
must  be  off.  More  this  evening,  should  we  return  before  the 
messenger  has  to  leave.' 

'Quarter-past  six  P.M. 

'  I  avail  myself  of  the  moment  I  have  before  dinner  to  tell 
you  that  we  got  back  half  an  hour  since,  and  that  I  found 
your  letter  of  the  4th  and  5th  waiting  me  here.  My  warmest 
thanks  for  it.  Give  Vicky  also  and  Lenchen  thanks  for  theirs. 
.  .  .  We  made  our  way  for  three  hours  by  post  (quite  after 
the  manner  described  by  Albert  Smith  8)  to  the  hamlet  of 
Viserne,  breakfasted  there  in  a  peasant's  cottage,  had  some 

8  In  his  Ascent  of  Mont  Blanc,  which  he  had  given  at  Osborne  on  the 
Prince's  last  birthday  (26th  August),  and  by  -which  two  words  in  the  Prince's 
Diary  (schr  komisck)  show  that  he,  like  the  rest  of  the  world,  had  been  greatly 
amused. 


1 854  TO    THE   QUEEN.  105 

time  to  wait,  for  our  riding  horses,  and  ultimately  rode  to 
the  heights  above  St.  Omer,  where  20,000  men  under 
General  Cnrlot  were  posted,  two  infantry  and  one  cavalry 
division  (of  Cuirassier  regiments), — superb  troops.9  I  am 
called  to  dress. 

'  Half-past  nine  P.M. 

'  The  messenger  is  on  the  point  of  returning.  During  the 
six  hours  (three  hours  going  and  three  returning)  which  I 
passed  in  the  carriage  with  the  Emperor  alone,  we  discussed 
all  the  topics  of  home  and  foreign  policy,  material  and 
personal,  with  the  greatest  frankness,  and  I  can  say  nothing 
but  good  of  what  I  heard. 

6  He  has  explained  his  relations  to  Persigny  in  exchange 
for  my  communication  as  to  ours  to  Palmerston,  and  I  have 
made  him  understand  our  position  with  reference  to  his 
covp  d'etat.  His  wish  is  to  see  Spain  and  Portugal  united. 
I  have  unfolded  our  reasons  for  a  different  view ;  we  have 
discussed  political  economy,  taxation  and  finance,  reforma 
tories,  prisons,  and  transportation,  constitutional  government, 
liberty  and  equality,  £c.,  all  secundum  artem,  &c.  &c. 
More  of  this  hereafter  by  word  of  mouth.  He  was  brought 
up  in  the  German  fashion  at  the  Gymnasium  in  Augsburg, 
where  ho  passed  the  greater  part  of  his  childhood — recollec 
tions  which  have  remained  dear  to  him,  and  a  training 
which  lias  developed  a  German  turn  of  thought.  As  to  all 
modern  political  history,  so  far  as  this  is  not  Napoleonic,  lie 
is  without  information,  so  that  he  wants  many  of  the  mate 
rials  for  accurate  judgment.  He  has  made  a  thorough 
study  of  military  matters,  and  is  completely  master  of 
them. 

'  I  send  two  of  the  new  gold  five-franc  pieces  which   the 

9  'His  Royal  Highness,'  Lord  Cowley  writes  to  Lord  Clarendon  (6th  Sep 
tember),  'is  much  admired  by  the  French  officers  ;  indeed  his  affibility  gains 
all  hearts.' 


106  LETTERS  BY   THE  PRINCE  1854 

Emperor  gave  me,  one  for  yourself,  and  one  for  the  numis- 
matical  department  of  the  children's  museum.' 

'Boulogne,  7th  September,  1854. 

' ...  It  is  now  ten.  I  have  just  returned  from  a  stroll 
with  the  Emperor  through  his  stables,  where  the  alliance  is 
typified  by  the  union  of  his  horses  and  my  own.  To-night 
the  Duke  of  Newcastle  received  his  despatches  from  Varna 
and  Hango.  General  Jones  reports  that  it  would  be  easy  to 
bombard  and  even  to  take  Helsingfors  ;  Napier  pours  cold 
water  upon  the  project.  Raglan  continues  to  speak  only 
indirectly  of  the  Crimea. 

'  The  Emperor  is  to  visit  the  yacht  to-day.  In  the  after 
noon  we  go  to  inspect  the  Division.  By  five  this  morning 
troops  passed  through  the  town  for  to-morrow's  review.  1 
have  had  a  letter  from  Pedro,  according  to  which  he  is  to  go 
to  Osborne,  but  bids  me  adieu  :  ask  him  not  to  leave  till 
Saturday  evening,  so  that  I  may  arrive  in  time  to  see  him 
and  Louis. 

'I  have  this  moment  (two  r.M.)  received  your  letter  of 
yesterday.  Hearty  thanks  for  it  and  all  the  words  of  love. 
.  .  .  The  Portuguese  are  with  you,  as  the  telegraph  inti 
mates,  and  I  have  sent  you  my  reply.  The  review  to 
morrow  will  not  be  far  from  Calais.  The  heat  and  dust  put 
us  to  a  severe  trial,  still  I  am  well.  The  Emperor  has  been 
greatly  delighted  at  making  Uncle  Leopold's  acquaintance. 

'  Half-past  ten  P.M. 

i  I  wished  to  have  sent  you  some  further  news,  but  now 
there  is  no  time  to  do  so.  It  was  eight  o'clock  before  we 
got  back  from  the  camp.  I  have  just  risen  from  dinner,  and 
the  messenger  must  be  off.  I  have  in  general  terms  ex 
pressed  to  the  Emperor  your  wish  to  see  him  in  England, 
and  also  to  make  the  Empress's  acquaintance.  His  answer 


1 854  TO    THE   QUEEN.  107 

was,  lie  hoped  on  the  contrary  to  have  an  opportunity  of 
receiving  you  in  Paris.  Next  year  the  Louvre  would  be  com 
pleted  for  the  Exhibition.  I  must  leave  the  matter  here,  and 
unless  he  says,  "  I  will  come,  when  can  the  Queen  receive 
me  ? "  I  cannot  fix  any  date.  Perhaps  the  inquiry  may 
come  to-morrow.  I  have  talked  to  Lord  Cowley.  He  will 
gladly  come  with  him.  At  this  moment  hope  runs  high 
about  Sebastopol.  I  hear,  alas  !  by  the  telegraph  that  the 
Portuguese  will  not  grant  me  the  twelve  hours  I  ask,  which 
is  very  shocking  of  them. 

4  To-morrow  morning  we  turn  out  about  six  ;  I  must  be 
up  and  stirring  by  five. 

4 ...  This  is  the  last  letter  you  will  receive  from  me. 
To-morrow  evening  we  start,  and  not  the  messenger.' 

The  Prince  records  in  his  Diary  the  same  day,  that  '  upon 
the  whole  he  was  greatly  pleased'  with  the  Emperor  (im 
Ganzen  recht  zufrieden  mit  ihm) ;  and  on  his  return  to 
Osborne,  he  wrote  to  renew  in  writing,  as  the  letter  bore, 
the  expression  of  his  gratitude  for  the  kind  reception  given 
to  him  by  His  Majest}r  at  Boulogne.  '  The  remembrance,' 
he  added,  '  of  the  days  I  have  just  spent  there,  as  well  as  of 
the  trustful  cordiality  (la  confiante  cordialite)  with  which 
you  have  honoured  me,  shall  not  be  effaced  from  my 
memory.  I  found  the  Queen  and  our  children  well,  and  she 
charges  me  with  a  thousand  kind  messages  for  your  Majesty. 
The  King  of  Portugal  was  still  in  Cowes  Roads,  on  board  his 
yacht,  which  had  been  kept  back  to  complete  her  coaling— 
a  piece  of  Portuguese  backwardness  to  which  I  am  indebted 
for  the  pleasure  of  seeing  him  again  for  a  few  minutes.' 


loS 


CHAPTER   LVI. 

Two  days  after  his  return  from  Boulogne  the  Prince  dictated 
the  following  Memorandum  to  General  Grey.  Its  value  as 
an  authentic  historical  document  cannot  be  overstated,  nor 
is  it  less  valuable  for  the  light  which  it  throws  upon  the 
Prince's  character,  by  the  remarkable  contrasts  between  him 
self  and  the  Emperor  of  the  French  which  were  elicited  in 
the  unreserved  discussions  which  each  seems  equally  to  have 
courted : — 

'  Memorandum  on  my  Visit  to  Boulogne. 

'  I  think  it  will  not  be  uninteresting  to  note  down  some  of 
the  impressions  which  I  have  gathered,  and  the  purport  of 
the  conversations  which  have  passed  between  the  Emperor 
and  myself,  during  my  stay  of  four  days  with  him  at  Boulogne. 
I  saw  a  great  deal  of  him  during  that  time,  having  been 
thrown  entirely  into  his  company,  particularly  during  our 
drives  to  and  from  the  different  encampments  of  the  troops. 
I  cannot  sufficiently  acknowledge  the  openness  and  want  of 
reserve  with  which  he  broached  all  the  most  important  topics 
of  the  day,  and  hope  I  was  as  open  and  unreserved  in  the 
expression  of  my  own  opinions. 

4  He  appeared  quiet  and  indolent  from  constitution,  not 
easily  excited,  but  gay  and  humorous  when  at  his  ease.  His 
French  is  not  without  a  little  German  accent ; — the  pronun 
ciation  of  his  German  better  than  that  of  his  English.  On 


1 854  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE.  109 

the  whole  I  observed  a  good  deal  in  his  turn  of  mind,  that  is 
owing  to  his  education  at  Augsburg,  where,  as  he  told  me,  he 
was  brought  up  at  the  Gymnasium.  He  recited  a  poem  of 
Schiller  on  the  advantages  to  man  of  peace  and  war,  which 
seemed  to  have  made  a  deep  impression  upon  him,  and  ap 
pears  to  me  to  be  not  without  significance  with  reference  to 
his  life. 

'  His  Court  and  household  are  strictly  kept,  and  in  good 
order,  more  English  than  French.  The  gentlemen  compos 
ing  his  entourage  are  not  distinguished  by  birth,  manner,  or 
education.  He  lives  on  a  very  familiar  footing  with  them, 
although  they  seemed  afraid  of  him.  The  tone  was  rather 
the  ton  de  gamison,  with  a  good  deal  of  smoking ;  the 
Emperor  smoking  cigarettes,  and  not  being  able  to  under 
stand  my  not  joining  him  in  it.  He  is  very  chilly,  complains 
of  rheumatism,  and  goes  early  to  bed  ;  takes  no  pleasure  in 
music,  and  is  proud  of  his  horsemanship — in  which,  however, 
I  could  discover  nothing  remarkable. 

'  His  general  education  appeared  to  me  very  deficient, 
even  on  subjects  which  are  of  a  first  necessity  to  him — I 
mean  the  political  history  of  modern  times,  and  political 
sciences  generally.  He  was  remarkably  modest,  however,  in 
acknowledging  these  defects,  and  showed  the  greatest  candour 
in  not  pretending  to  know  what  he  did  not.  All  that  refers  to 
the  Napoleonic  history  he  seems  to  have  at  his  fingers'  ends ; 
he  also  appears  to  have  thought  much  and  deeply  on  politics  ; 
yet  more  like  an  "  Amateur  Politician,"  mixing  many  very 
sound  and  many  very  crude  notions  together.  He  admires 
English  institutions,  and  regrets  the  absence  of  an  aristocracy 
in  France  ;  but  might  not  be  willing  to  allow  such  an  aristo 
cracy  to  control  his  own  power,  whilst  he  might  wish  to  have 
the  advantage  of  its  control  over  the  pure  democracy. 

'  Government. — He  asked  me  a  good  deal  about  the  inter 
nal  working  of  the  English  Government ;  whether  the  Queen 


no  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

presided  a  son  conseil,  whether  she  saw  all  the  despatches, 
&c.  &e.  I  told  him  that  the  Queen  presided  in  person  at  the 
Privy  Council,  which,  however,  passed  without  discussion 
only  matters  which  had  been  pre-arranged  ;  that  the  Cabinet 
met  and  discussed  alone,  but  that  the  Queen  was  informed 
by  the  Prime  Minister  of  the  object  of  their  meeting,  and  of 
the  result  of  their  deliberations.  He  said  he  did  not  allow 
his  Ministers  to  rntet  or  discuss  matters  together — that  they 
transacted  their  business  solely  with  him.  He  rarely  told 
the  one  what  he  had  settled  with  the  other.  He  seemed  as 
tonished  when  I  told  him,  that  every  Despatch  went  through 
the  Queen's  hands,  and  was  read  by  her,  as  he  only  received 
extracts  made  from  them,  and  indeed  appeared  to  have  little 
time  or  inclination  generally  to  read.  When  I  observed  to 
him,  that  the  Queen  would  not  be  content  without  seeing  the 
whole  of  the  diplomatic  correspondence,  he  replied  that  he 
found  a  full  compensation  in  having  persons  in  his  own  con 
fidence  at  the  different  posts  of  importance,  who  reported 
directly  to  him.  I  could  not  but  express  my  sense  of  the 
danger  of  such  an  arrangement,  to  which  no  statesman — in 
England  at  least — would  consent,  and  which  enabled  the 
Foreign  Minister  (if  he  chose  to  cheat  his  master)  always  to 
plead  to  foreign  countries  his  ignorance  of  what  might  have 
been  done,  or  to  throw  the  entire  blame,  in  any  difficulty 
that  might  occur,  upon  these  secret  instructions.  The 
Emperor  acknowledged  all  this,  but  pleaded  necessity. 

'  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys. — He  praised  Drouyn  de  Lhuys, 
only  complaining  of  his  haste.  He  had  the  other  day,  for 
instance,  caused  annoyance  at  Vienna  by  having  sent  there 
literally  the  very  expressions  in  which  the  Emperor  had  in 
structed  him,  and  which  were  intended  only  as  a  guide  to 
him.  I  observed  that  this  could  not  have  happened  in 
England,  where  every  draft  had  to  receive  the  Sovere:gn's 
sanction  in  the  shape  in  which  it  was  to  go. 


1 854        ON   VISIT   TO    THE  FRENCH  EMPEROR.          in 

6  Lord  Palmerston. — The  Emperor  asked  me  what  were 
the  Queen's  objections  to  Lord  Palmerston?  He  had  always 
been  tres-bon  pour  lui.  I  replied  I  did  not  know  what 
reason  he  could  have  for  gratitude  to  Lord  Palmerston ;  the 
only  thing  I  knew  was  that  he  hated  the  Orleans  family,  and 
que  cela  pourrait  bien  etre  pour  quelque  chose  in  what 
appeared  bonte  pour  lui. 

'  To  satisfy  the  Emperor's  wish  to  know  why,  I  had  to  refer 
to  the  quarrel  between  Lord  Palmerston  and  King  Louis 
Philippe  on  the  subject  of  intervention  in  Spain  in  1835, 
when  the  King  sacrificed  M.  Thiers  to  break  through  the 
engagement  for  such  an  intervention,  on  the  ground  that  in 
tervention  in  the  affairs  of  Spain  had  at  all  times  brought 
ruin  on  France  and  the  dynasty  which  undertook  it — an 
axiom  the  truth  of  which  he  knew  in  1835,  and  proved  in 
1848  by  acting  diametrically  against  it.  The  Emperor 
seemed  to  know  very  little  about  that  whole  contest,  which  I 
had  further  to  detail  to  him ;  but  still  he  concurred  in  the 
truth  of  the  axiom. 

'  As  to  Lord  Palmerston  and  the  Queen's  objection  to  him, 
the  story  was  easily  told.  When  he,  the  Emperor,  had  made 
his  coup  d'etat,  which  I  called  une  affaire  douteuse  dont 
personne  ne  pouvait  prevolr  les  consequences,  the  Queen 
had  enjoined  the  strictest  neutrality  to  her  Government  as  to 
that  event ;  the  Cabinet  had  met,  and  declared  that  it  en 
tirely  concurred  in  the  Queen's  view,  and  had  directed  Lord 
Palmerston  to  prepare  a  draft  explaining  this  to  the  French 
Government.  The  draft  did  not  come  for  many  days  ;  and 
when  it  arrived,  Lord  Normanby,  who  took  it  to  the  Minister 
for  Foreign  Affairs  ]  (whose  name,  oddly  enough,  neither  the 
Emperor  nor  myself  could  remember),  was  met  with  the 
assurance,  that  the  Government  had  received  already  Lord 
Palmerston's  entire  adhesion  to  and  approbation  of  the 

1  Monsieur  Turgot. 


ii2  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

measure.  The  Queen  asked  for  explanation  from  Lord  John 
Russell,  then  Prime  Minister,  who,  after  having  had  to  wait 
several  days,  received  at  last  so  rude  an  answer  that  he  had 
to  send  Lord  Palmerston  his  dismissal.  This  rendered  it  im 
possible  for  the  Queen  to  have  him  again  for  Foreign  Secretary. 
But  the  Queen  and  myself  had  long  been  at  variance  with 
Lord  Palmerston  as  to  the  main  principle  of  his  foreign 
policy,  which  was  even  an  exaggeration  of  that  laid  down  in 
Mr.  Canning's  celebrated  speech  in  December  1826.  The 
Emperor  not  being  acquainted  with  this  important  turning- 
point  in  our  political  history,  I  had  to  explain  it  to  him,  and 
to  show  that  the  object  of  it  was  to  form  a  counterpoise  to 
the  Holy  Alliance  of  the  Governments  on  the  Continent,  by 
supporting  the  popular  parties  in  every  country,  with  a  view 
to  establishing  constitutions  after  the  model  of  our  own. 
This  was  a  doctrine  very  like  that  of  the  Jacobin  propa 
ganda,  and  had  produced  the  greatest  hatred  of  England  all 
over  the  Continent.  (This  the  Emperor  heartily  assented 
to.)  It  produced,  I  said,  the  further  inconvenience  to 
England,  that  an  English  party  was  formed  in  every  country, 
which,  if  worsted,  brought  defeat  and  discredit  on  the 
English  Government ;  but,  if  successful,  had  to  prove  its  in 
dependence  of  England,  by  taking  every  measure  that  was 
hurtful  to  her.  Lord  Palmerston,  detested  by  the  Continental 
Governments,  had  been  the  object  of  every  species  of  malig 
nity,  attack,  and  intrigue  on  their  part.  This  was  known  in 
England  to  the  public,  roused  the  national  indignation  in  his 
favour,  and  gave  him  great  popularity.  The  power  which 
this  popularity  gave  him  he  used  in  order  to  coerce  his  col 
leagues  and  his  Sovereign  into  anything  he  chose  to  advocate. 
Any  resistance  was  at  once  signalised  as  forming  part  of  the 
grand  European  cambinations  against  him. 

'  Count    Waleivski. — The  Emperor  asked  me  how  Count 
Walewski  was  liked   in  England  ?     I  told  him,  very  well ; 


1 854        ON   VISIT  TO   THE  FRENCH  EMPEROR.          113 

perhaps  the  Emperor  knew  that  he  had  not  a  great  deal  of 
tact  ("  None  at  all,"  said  the  Emperor) ;  but  Lord  Clarendon 
told  me  that,  during  the  whole  time  he  has  had  to  do  with 
him,  he  had  never  once  told  him  a  lie,  which,  in  my  opinion, 
covered  a  multitude  of  sins,  as  it  was  the  first  necessity  for 
public  business. 

-  Lord  Aberdeen. — The  Emperor  did  not  say  much  about 
Lord  Clarendon,  but  allowed  me  to  perceive  that  his  distrust 
and  dislike  of  Lord  Aberdeen  were  deeply  rooted.  I  repre 
sented  the  latter  to  him  as  d'une  probite  et  d'un  cceur  d'or. 

4  M.  Persigny. — He  spoke  about  M.  Persigny  and  entered 
into  their  mutual  history,  and  bewailed  that  since  his 
marriage  he  was  a  totally  altered  person,  and  quite  lost 
to  him.  He  had  never  had  talent  for  administration,  and  in 
his  extreme  vivacity  made  a  great  many  enemies.  Yet  of 
the  hundred  projects  which  his  fertile  imagination  con 
tinually  brought  forth,  even  if  the  Emperor,  as  usually 
happened,  disagreed  with  ninety-nine  of  them,  there  was 
sure  to  be  one  valuable  enough  to  adopt.  It  had  been  ne 
cessary  to  take  the  interleur  from  him,  but,  since  then,  he 
had  refused  to  keep  a  seat  in  the  Council,  and  had  done  the 
Emperor  and  the  Government  the  greatest  harm  by  his  un 
measured  language,  which  found  its  way  to  the  press.  The 
idea  that  he  was  sacrificed  to  a  Russian  intrigue  arose  in  his 
own  brain. 

'  I  begged  to  observe  that,  however  unfounded  the  idea 
might  have  been,  the  Russian  party  had  long  before  desig 
nated  him  as  a  man  to  immolate. 

t  Public  .Men — Finance. — We  conversed  on  the  immo 
rality  of  public  men  in  France,  particularly  with  regard  to 
money  transactions.  The  Emperor  maintained  that  he  could 
vouch  for  the  integrity  of  the  members  of  his  Government,  but 
not  beyond,  and  this  was  one  of  his  greatest  difficulties. 
For  instance,  nothing  had  done  him  or  his  Government 

VOL.  III.  I 


114  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

more  harm  than  the  attempt  at  the  loan  on  the  Credit 
Mobilier.  The  transaction  had  been  a  very  simple  and 
unobjectionable  one  when  proposed  to  him.  The  employes, 
however,  immediately  drove  up  the  500-franc  shares  to  3,000, 
then  sold  and  let  the  whole  thing  fall,  which  brought  ruin 
on  numbers  of  families.  He  was  determined  to  do  them  in 
return,  and  had,  without  saying  a  word  to  anybody,  opened 
a  general  subscription  of  the  people  through  the  prefects  in 
every  village.  The  effect  had  been  marvellous.  The  whole 
loan  was  subscribed  for  in  a  day  by  the  lowest  classes,  who 
were  as  much  delighted  at  the  measure  as  the  money-lenders 
and  agioteurs  were  annoyed,  and  brought  their  money  seule- 
ment  pour  le  donner  a  Napoleon.  He  would  have  to  recur 
to  this  again  probably  next  year.  I  told  him  we  had  been 
very  much  pleased  with  our  financial  operations.  "  Votre 
emprunt  a  done  reussi  ?  "  the  Emperor  said.  I  explained 
to  him  that  we  had  not  borrowed  a  shilling,  nor,  as  he  then 
supposed,  emitted  paper,  but  had  raised  additional  taxation 
sufficient  to  pay  the  expenses  of  the  war,  about  fifteen  mil 
lions  for  the  year  ( 375  millions  of  francs).  He  seemed  to  have 
been  quite  ignorant  of  this,  and  expressed  great  astonishment. 
I  then  went  cursorily  through  Mr.  Gladstone's  speech  on 
the  Budget,  his  critique  on  the  heaven-born  Minister  Pitt, 
and  thought  it  useful  to  show  the  untruth  of  the  two  most 
prevailing  impressions  on  the  Continent :  that  our  debt  was 
so  large  we  could  not  add  to  it,  the  fact  being  that  it  was 
fifteen  millions  less  than  in  1815 — the  capital  of  the  country 
being  worth  four  times  as  much  as  it  was  at  that  time  ;  the 
other,  that  England  could  never  go  to  war,  because  the  people 
would  object  to  bear  the  burthens  and  sacrifices  necessary  for 
it,  which  the  present  case,  I  hoped,  sufficiently  disproved. 

'  This  led  us  to  a  general  discussion  on  finance  and  com 
mercial  policy — the  Emperor  leaning  to  indirect  taxation  ; 
I  condemning  indirect  taxation  as  a  principle,  but  acknow- 


1854        ON  VISIT   TO    THE  FRENCH  EMPEROR.          115 

ledging  its  necessity  as  a  sacrifice  to  the  weakness  of  human 
nature,  which  cannot  bear  to  see  the  money  go  direct  from 
the  pocket  of  the  individual  to  the  coffers  of  the  State.  I 
particularly  condemned  the  ever-recurring  attempts  of  the 
successive  French  Governments  to  control  the  price  of  bread. 
He  declared  this  a  necessity,  as  when  bread  was  dear  the 
people  became  ungovernable.  The  town  of  Paris  had  had 
to  sacrifice  sixteen  millions  of  francs  last  year  for  that  object, 
which  he  hoped  to  get  back  now  after  a  plentiful  harvest. 
I  could  not  but  express  my  doubts  whether  he  would  find  it 
practicable  to  get  back  a  shilling.  As  to  the  stability  of  the 
Government,  nothing  appeared  to  me  so  dangerous  as  to 
establish  and  acknowledge  an  immediate  connection  between 
it  and  the  price  of  bread.  He  admitted  this,  but  repeated 
that  there  was  no  help  for  it. 

'  We  talked  over  general  principles  of  government,  I 
maintaining  that  the  destinies  of  nations  were  less  controlled 
by  armies  and  rulers  than  by  the  philosophers  of  the  day.  I 
attributed  the  whole  difficulty  of  the  Government  in  France 
to  the  absurd  doctrine  of  equality  as  an  accompaniment  to 
liberty,  which  was  in  fact  its  negation,  and  to  Rousseau's 
Contrat  Social,  which  represented  man  as  originally  free, 
and  surrendering  only  a  portion  of  his  liberty  to  the  State, 
in  return  for  which  he  obtained  certain  advantages.  This 
doctrine  made  it  a  continued  matter  of  calculation,  whether 
the  advantages  were  adequate  to  the  sacrifices,  and  in  dis 
tress  or  difficulties  of  any  kind  the  individual  was  prone  to 
consider  himself  freed  from  his  obligations  to  the  State, 
whilst  in  reality  man  was  originally  in  the  most  abject  state 
of  dependence,  and  obtained  the  condition  for  acquiring 
any  liberty  only  through  the  existence  of  the  State,  its  laws, 
and  civilisation.  Matters  would  not  get  better  till  some 
great  mind  arose  and  made  a  sounder  philosophy  popular. 
The  Emperor  seemed  struck,  and  agreed  with  the  truth  of 

i  2 


ii6  MEMORANDUM  BY   THE  PRINCE  1854 

this;  but  objected  that  no  writers  would  for  an  immense 
length  of  time  find  their  way  to  the  people  of  France.  Good 
writing  had  no  chance  at  all,  for  even  the  worst  writing  of 
the  Socialists,  who  worked  upon  the  lowest  passions  of  the 
crowd,  had  in  fact  hardly  penetrated  the  surface  of  society. 
He  instanced  as  a  proof  his  own  election  for  the  National 
Assembly  at  Metz,  where  the  Socialist  candidate,  who  had  all 
the  votes  pledged  to  him,  saw  them  given  to  himself,  a 
stranger  just  arrived,  merely  on  account  of  the  name  of 
Napoleon.  This  name  was  the  only  thing  left  which  still 
united  the  sentiments  of  the  people.  How  little  the  people 
followed  even  the  history  of  their  own  times  was  again 
illustrated  to  him  on  his  way  with  the  Empress  to  Biarritz, 
when,  through  a  large  portion  of  the  south  of  France,  the 
people  cried  :  "  Vive  Marie-Louise  !  "  He  had  also  heard  on 
a  former  journey  cries  of  "  En  fin  voila  le  vieux  revenii  !  " 

'  The  Arrmy. — The  army  seems  a  great  object  of  the 
Emperor's  solicitude.  He  acknowledged  that  the  war  had 
found  him  impourvu.  He  had  to  refurnish  almost  his 
whole  material,  but  was  going  on  satisfactorily,  and  would 
be  quite  ready  next  year.  He  intended  the  camps  to  be 
maintained  during  the  whole  winter,  pour  aguerrir  les 
troupes.  He  had  placed  his  whole  artillery  on  a  uniform 
system — twelve-pounders,  which  he  was  very  proud  of,  as 
well  as  of  the  new  carbine,  his  own  invention,  and  a  rocket  of 
very  large  calibre,  which  has  carried  up  to  6,000  metres,  and 
from  which  he  expects  great  results.  He  had  likewise  had  ex 
periments  carried  on  as  to  the  power  of  resistance  of  wrought- 
iron,  which  proved  that,  at  a  given  angle,  a  small  thickness, 
like  two  inches,  would  resist  any  shot — the  shot  splitting. 
He  thought  an  application  of  this  to  floating  batteries  to  be 
the  way  for  taking  Cronstadt  without  any  loss.  The  project 
lias  been  communicated  to  the  English  Admiralty  for  con 
sideration.  He  is  evidently  anxious  to  become  a  good 


1 854        ON   VISIT  TO    THE  FRENCH  EMPEROR.          117 

general,  and  has  much  studied  the  wars  of  his  uncle.  In 
the  command  of  his  troops  he  appeared  inexperienced, 
though  calm  and  self-possessed,  and  very  modest  and  in 
genuous  as  to  what  he  had  yet  to  learn ;  but  decidedly 
showing  talent  for  it. 

'  The  troops  were  young,  but  both  men  and  horses  much 
stronger  and  finer  than  used  to  be  the  case  with  the  French 
army. 

4  The  Emperor  was  almost  the  only  person  amongst  the 
French  at  Boulogne  who  had  any  hope  of  the  success  of  the 
expedition  against  Sebastopol,  and  the  astonishment  was 
great  that  our  whole  party  of  English  officers  were  so 
sanguine  about  it.  The  Emperor  strongly  condemned  St. 
Arnaud's  march  into  the  Dobrudja,  which  had  been  positively 
forbidden.  Before  we  left  Boulogne,  accounts  arrived  from 
Varna  announcing  the  decision  to  go  to  the  Crimea,  St. 
Arnaud  writing,  in  true  French  style,  of  himself,  "  Je  suis 
plein  de  confiance  et  plein  d*ardeur." 

4  The  Emperor  expects  Austria  to  join  us  more  actively, 
and  spoke  without  bitterness  of  the  King  of  Prussia,  whose 
hesitation  he  could  well  understand.  He  expressed  himself 
very  kindly  about  my  brother,  whose  patriotism  as  a  German 
he  admired.  This  led  us  to  the  field  of  German  Politics, 
on  which  I  saw  that  he  had  the  common  dread  of  all  French 
men,  that  Germany  would  become  formidable  if  too  strongly 
united,  and  fancied  that,  with  Prussia  and  Austria  constituted 
separately,  the  rest  of  the  Grerman  States  might  unite  in  a 
closer  body.  I  explained  to  him  that  this  plan  was  called  that 
of  the  "  Trias,"  was  advocated  by  Bavaria  for  selfish  purposes, 
but  was  based  upon  an  entire  want  of  knowledge  of  the  real 
conditions  of  Germany,  as,  whilst  Austria  might  be  severed 
from  the  rest,  Prussia  could  not  be  torn  out  of  the  system 
without  destroying  it  in  all  its  parts,  and  what  remained,  if 
this  were  done,  could  not  preserve  any  moral  or  physical 


u8  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

cohesion.  Hanover,  Mecklenburg,  Oldenburg,  &c.,  for  in 
stance,  were  lying  within  Prussia,  Protestant,  and  had  almost 
no  common  interest  with  the  Catholic  south. 

'  The  Emperor  was  much  pleased  with  the  visit  of  the  King 
of  the  Belgians,  but  I  could  perceive  that  he  had  not  lost  his 
dread  of  him.  The  Duke  of  Brabant  [the  present  King  of  the 
Belgians]  struck  him  for  his  finesse  at  that  early  age  ;  "  il  lui 
avait  dit  des  choses  si  fines,  il  avait  ete  tout  etonne"  He 
much  blamed  the  conduct  of  the  Belgian  Government,  which 
had  made  a  constitutional  point  of  the  King's  not  visiting  the 
Emperor,2  which  he  characterised  as  an  unwarranted  inter 
ference  with  the  King's  freedom  of  action.  I  maintained 
that  they  had  constitutionally  a  right  to  be  heard  in  matters 
where  the  personal  act  of  the  Sovereign  might  influence  the 
political  position  of  the  country,  but  that  they  had  ires- 
mal  choisi  leur  cas. 

'  Spain  and  Portugal. — The  King  of  Portugal  had,  the 
Emperor  said,  tout  a  fait  gagne  son  cceur.  He  is  anxious  for 
the  union  of  Spain  and  Portugal  under  the  King.  On  my 
saying,  (i  que  nous  ne  voulions  cela  du  tout"  he  said,  "  Yes, 
je  le  sais  bien ;  Lord  Clarendon  n'en  veut  rien  entendre,  mais 
je  ne  desespere pas  de  le  convaincre''  I  replied  that  it  was 
contrary  to  the  traditions  of  English  policy — that  I  could  not 
believe  for  a  moment  in  its  happy  realisation.  The  Spaniards 
despised  the  Portuguese,  and  the  Portuguese  hated  them  in 
return.  Should  Spain  become  a  province  of  Portugal,  or 
Portugal  of  Spain  ?  The  Emperor  called  the  mutual  aver 
sion  exaggerated,  and  thought  it  quite  feasible  to  tell  the 
Portuguese,  "Jevous  donne  VEspagne,  et  aux  Espagnols,  je 
vous  donne  le  Portugal.'"  I  maintained,  on  the  contrary, 
that  an  eclair cissement  on  that  point  would  soon  be  asked  for. 
and  lead  to  immediate  quarrel.  Where  should  the  capital 

2  The  Ministry  had  resigned  shortly  before,  in  consequence  of  the  King  an 
nouncing  his  intention  to  visit  Louis  Napoleon  at  Boulogne. 


i854        ON   VISIT   TO    THE  FRENCH  EMPEROR.          119 

be  ?  As  long  as  Madrid  remained  the  capital,  there  was  no 
hope  of  power  for  Spain,  and  certainty  of  increased  poverty 
to  Portugal.  If  Lisbon  was  chosen,  it  would  soon  make  the 
kingdom  very  strong;  both  the  dynasty  and  the  capital, 
however,  being  chosen  out  of  Spain,  the  whole  centre  of 
gravity  was  removed  from  it,  which  that  proud  nation  would 
not  put  up  with.  If  the  attempt  were  made  and  failed,  its 
failure  would  certainly  bring  ruin  upon  the  poor  King's 
dynasty  in  Portugal  also. 

6 Italy  and  Poland. — The  Emperor  said,  the  last  evening, 
he  had  only  two  other  political  wishes,  the  one  to  see 
Lombardy  free  from  the  mal-administration  of  Austria,  the 
other  to  see  Poland  restored.  He  wanted  to  know  my  views 
on  both  these  subjects.  As  to  the  first,  I  declared  that 
nobody  wished  it  more  than  myself  for  Austria's  own  sake  ; 
but  there  were  two  things  we  must  remember,  that  Austria 
can  never  consent  to  the  one  : — the  establishment  of  the  prin 
ciple  that  separate  nationalities  gave  a  right  to  indepen 
dence,  which  would  be  the  death-warrant  of  the  whole 
monarchy ;  the  other,  her  military  frontier.  She  could  not 
give  up  the  line  of  the  Mincio,  and  the  campaigns  of  1805 
and  1809  prove  that,  if  the  passes  of  the  Tyrol  were  turned, 
there  is  no  military  position  except  in  the  rear  of  Vienna. 
The  Emperor  objected  that  this  still  left  a  large  portion  of 
Italy  in  the  hands  of  Austria.  I  defied  him  to  trace  another 
tenable  boundary  on  the  map.  He  replied,  that  if  military 
frontiers  were  an  essential  point  for  the  existence  of  States, 
France  also  had  claim  to  one.  My  answer  was,  that  France 
had  the  best  military  frontier,  her  flanks  covered  by  neutral 
Switzerland  and  neutral  Belgium.  He  denied  that  neu 
trality  was  a  real  protection,  as  it  was  rarely  maintained  in 
time  of  war.  As  to  Italy,  he  would  be  glad  if  even  the 
Milanese  only  could  be  freed.  I  told  him  Austria  herself  had, 
in  1848,  offered  to  give  it  up  in  whatever  form  England 


120  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

pleased,  provided  she  would  obtain  a  peace  for  her  in  return. 
Lord  Palmerston  had  refused  to  entertain  anything  of  the 
kind,  insisting  upon  Austria  giving  up  the  whole  of  her 
Italian  kingdom.  The  Emperor  had  never  heard  of  this 
before,  but  called  it  a  capital  blunder  of  policy. 

'  I  asked  him,  when  he  spoke  of  Poland,  what  he  meant  by 
it  ?  To  go  back  to  the  first,  or  second,  or  third  partition  ?  He 
answered,  he  would  be  content  with  ever  so  small  a  nucleus, 
and  perfectly  so  with  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Warsaw.  He 
thought  Galicia  well  governed,  and  the  retention  of  both 
Austrian  and  Prussian  Poland  by  these  Powers  as  an 
essential  feature  in  the  scheme.  He  thought  nothing  would 
be  so  popular  in  France,  England,  and  Germany.  I  agreed 
as  to  the  two  first,  and  particularly  England,  but  ex 
pressed  my  doubt  as  to  Germany.  He  maintained,  he  had 
been  in  Germany  during  the  passing  through  of  the  Poles 
who  fled  their  country  after  their  revolution,  and  nothing 
could  have  exceeded  the  enthusiasm  and  national  feeling  for 
them.  I  could  corroborate  him  as  to  the  enthusiasm,  but 
denied  any  national  feeling.  It  was  rather  composed  of 
hatred  to  Eussian  tyranny  and  general  compassion  for  suf 
fering  patriots.  Without  the  concurrence  of  Austria  and 
Prussia  there  could  be  no  hope  for  Poland. 

6  We  had  still  one  other  discussion — on  the  Schleswig-Hol- 
stein  question, — about  which  he  confessed  to  the  same  igno 
rance  which  is  common  with  English  statesmen,  and  for  the 
same  reason,  viz.  the  complication  of  the  question,  and  the 
intolerably  prolix  and  prosy  manner  in  which  the  German 
publicists  argued  it.  He  was  glad  to  receive  from  me  a 
general  condensed  history  of  the  whole  transaction,  and 
struck  when  I  told  him,  that  both  he  and  his  Government, 
as  well  as  the  English,  had  been  made  the  mere  tool  of 
Kussia  on  that  question.  .  .  . 

6  Upon  the  whole,  the  impression  which  my  stay  at  Bou- 


1854        ON   VISIT   TO    THE  FRENCH  EMPEROR.          121 

logne  left  upon  me  is,  that  naturally  the  Emperor  would 
neither  in  home  nor  in  foreign  politics  take  any  violent 
steps  ;  but  that  he  appears  in  distress  for  means  of  govern 
ing,  and  obliged  to  look  about  for  them  from  day  to  day. 
Having  deprived  the  people  of  every  active  participation  in 
the  government,  and  having  reduced  them  to  mere  passive 
spectators,  he  is  bound  to  keep  up  the  "  spectacle,"  and,  as  at 
fireworks,  whenever  a  pause  takes  place  between  the  different 
displays,  the  public  immediately  grows  impatient,  and  forgets 
what  it  has  just  applauded,  and  that  new  preparations  require 
time.  Still  he  appears  to  be  the  only  man  who  has  any 
hold  on  Francg,  relying  on  the  " nom  de  Napoleon"  which 
is  the  last  thing  left  to  a  Frenchman's  faith.  He  said  to 
the  Duke  of  Newcastle :  "  Former  Governments  tried  to 
reign  by  the  support  of  perhaps  one  million  of  the  educated 
classes.  I  have  tried  to  lay  hold  of  the  other  twenty-nine" 

'  He  is  decidedly  benevolent  and  anxious  for  the  good  of 
his  people,  but  has,  like  all  rulers  before  him,  a  bad  opinion 
of  their  political  capacity.  He  will  be  exposed  to  one  danger 
in  his  attempt  at  governing  solely  by  himself,  which  has 
befallen  almost  every  absolute  monarch — that  he  will  be 
crushed  under  the  weight  of  a  mass  of  unimportant  details 
of  business,  whilst  the  real  direction  of  affairs  may  be  filched 
from  him  by  his  irresponsible  Ministers. 

6  On  our  drive  to  St.  Omer,  he  was  stopped  by  three  couriers, 
who  brought  him  different  packets  of  despatches,  which, 
after  having  read,  he  very  kindly  handed  over  to  me  for 
perusal.  They  were  all  police  reports  of  different  suspected 
persons,  amongst  them  an  analysis  of  Leon  Faucher's  last 
article  in  the  Revue  des  Deux  Mondes,  which  the  writer 
wound  up  with  the  remark :  "  Le  reste  n'est  qu'une  re 
petition  de  Verreur  populaire  tant  de  fois  repetee,  que  les 
finances  d'un  gouvernement  absolu  ne  peuvent  pas  etre  en 
ordre"  I  could  not  but  contrast  the  personal  interest  in 


122  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE.  1854 

such  reports,  and  in  his  secret  correspondence  with  private 
agents,  with  the  indolence  which  prevents  the  attentive 
perusal  of  public  documents,  or  even  of  the  newspapers. 
His  attachment  to  the  Empress  appears  to  be  great.  In 
the  rank  and  position  to  which  she  has  been  elevated,  she 
finds  many  enemies,  and  both  long  for  a  place  of  retirement 
in  the  South  of  France  where  they  can  live  in  privacy,  and 
which  Biarritz  might  become. 

4  The  Emperor's  best  chance  is  the  English  alliance,  which 
not  only  gives  steadiness  to  his  foreign  policy,  but,  by  pre 
disposing  in  his  favour  the  English  press,  protects  him  from 
the  only  channel  through  which  public  opinion  in  France, 
if  hostile  to  him,  could  find  vent.  I  told  him  that  we  should 
be  glad  to  see  him  in  England,  and  that  the  Queen  would 
be  delighted  to  make  acquaintance  with  the  Empress.  He 
gave  no  direct  answer,  but  the  expression  of  his  hope  that 
we  would  come  in  return  to  Paris  for  the  Exhibition  next 
year,  when  the  Louvre  would  be  finished.' 

What,  on  the  other  hand,  was  the  impression  produced  by 
the  Prince  upon  the  Emperor  ?  One  of  admiration  from  the 
first.  'The  Emperor  told  me  last  night  after  the  Prince 
had  retired,'  Lord  Cowley  writes  (6th  September)  to  Lord 
Clarendon,  '  that  he  was  more  pleased  than  he  could  say  with 
all  that  he  had  heard  from  his  Eoyal  Highness  ;  that  there 
was  nothing  so  trying  as  making  acquaintance,  as  it  were,  in 
public,  but  that  the  Prince  had  made  it  easy  to  him.  .  .  I 
have  endeavoured  to  ascertain  what  the  Emperor  says  to 
others,  and  I  can  assure  you  that  it  is  even  more  satisfactory 
than  what  he  says  to  me.' 

The  combination  in  the  Prince  of  courtesy,  knowledge, 
sagacity,  and  fearless  moral  courage,  seems  to  have  exercised 
an  irresistible  charm  upon  the  Emperor,  and  the  warmth  of 
this  feeling  is  visible  in  the  letter  which  he  entrusted  to  the 


1 854          FRENCH  EMPEROR   ON  THE  PRINCE.  123 

Prince  to  deliver  to  the  Queen.  k  The  presence,'  it  bore, 
4  of  Your  Majesty's  estimable  Consort  in  the  midst  of  a 
French  camp  is  a  fact  of  the  utmost  political  significance, 
since  it  demonstrates  the  intimate  union  of  the  two  countries. 
But  to-day  I  prefer  not  to  dwell  on  the  political  aspect  of 
this  visit,  but  to  tell  you  in  all  sincerity  how  happy  it  has 
made  me  to  be  for  several  days  in  the  society  of  a  Prince  so 
accomplished, — a  man  endowed  with  qualities  so  seductive 
and  with  knowledge  so  profound.  He  may  feel  assured  that 
he  carries  with  him  my  sentiments  of  high  esteem  and 
friendship.  But  the  more  I  have  been  enabled  to  appreciate 
Prince  Albert,  the  more  it  behoves  me  to  be  touched  by  the 
kindness  of  Your  Majesty  in  agreeing  on  my  account  to  part 
with  him  for  several  days.' 

Soon  after  Count  Walewski's  return  to  London  he  told 
Lord  Clarendon,  '  that  the  Emperor  had  spoken  with  enthu 
siasm  of  the  Prince,  saying  that  in  all  his  experience  he  had 
never  met  with  a  person  possessing  such  various  and  profound 
knowledge,  or  who  communicated  it  with  the  same  frankness. 
His  Majesty  added,  that  he  had  never  learned  so  much  in  a 
short  time,  and  was  grateful/ 

M.  Walewski  went  more  fully  into  the  subject  a  few  weeks 
afterwards  with  the  Belgian  ambassador,  M.  Van  de  Weyer, 
in  a  conversation  of  which  the  following  record  was  preserved 
in  a  letter  of  M.  Van  de  Weyer's  at  the  time  to  the  present 
King  of  the  Belgians  : — 

'  In  my  conversation  with  Count  Walewski,  we  touched  on 
certain  points,  which  ii  was  understood  I  was  not  to  refer  to  in  my 
official  correspondence. 

'  "  Great  events,"  he  said  to  me,  "  have  taken  place  since  we  last 
met,  and  certainly  not  the  least  of  these  is  the  meeting  of  Prince 
Albert  and  the  Emperor.  I  have  not  forgotten  the  opinion  yon 
Lave  on  several  occasions  expressed  to  me  in  speaking  of  the 
Prince,  so  that  I  am  not  speaking  to  one  who  has  altered  his 
views  (un  convert^."  "  The  Prince,"  I  said,  interrupting  him,  "  is 


124  IMPRESSION  PRODUCED  BY  PRINCE          1854 

in  my  eyes  one  of  the  highest  intelligences  of  our  time  (une  des  in 
telligences  lesplus  supericures  de  Vepoque)"  "  These,"  he  rejoined, 
"  are  precisely,  identically,  the  Emperor's  words  ;  had  you  heard 
him,  you  could  not  have  expressed  yourself  in  terms  more  nearly 
resembling  his."  "  And,"  I  added,  "  what  completes  the  excellence 
of  Prince  Albert  as  a  man,  and  as  a  politician,  is  that  his  heart 
and  the  straightforwardness  of  his  character  are  on  a  level  with 
his  intelligence."  "  The  Emperor,"  replied  M.  Walewski,  "  has 
been  struck  beyond  measure  with  the  depth  and  the  justice  of 
his  views,  and  at  my  last  audience  the  first  words  which  he 
addressed  to  me  were  these  :  '  Savez-vous,  Walewski,  quefai  un 
grand  reprocke  a  vous  faire  ?  C'est  que  vous  ne  m'avez  pas  assez 
souvent  parle  du  Prince  Albert,  que  vous  ne  m'avez  pas  assez  mis 
a  ravance  en  mesure  de  I'apprecier,  et  de  connaitre  tout  le  poids 
qu'ont  ses  conseils  en  Angleterre,  toute  V influence  qu'il  y  exerce.' 
I  explained  to  the  Emperor,  how  few  opportunities  diplomatists 
had  at  the  Court  of  St.  James's  of  becoming  well  acquainted  with 
Prince  Albert,  whose  extreme  reserve,  moreover,  made  any  attempt 
to  do  so  very  difficult.  Since  our  alliance,  frequent  communi 
cations  have  given  me  the  means  of  forming  a  judgment ;  and  I 
share  in  all  points  the  feeling  of  the  Emperor." 

'  "  During  a  carriage  drive  of  six  hours  we  had  an  opportunity," 
added  the  Emperor,  in  speaking  to  Walewski,  "of  getting  to  the 
closest  quarters,  and  of  thoroughly  discussing  all  the  great 
questions.  Prince  Albert  spoke  to  me  with  a  frankness,  a 
sincerity,  an  abandon,  which  produced  a  deep  impression  upon  me. 
We  even  touched  upon  very  delicate  points,  among  others,  the 
kind  of  prejudice,  of  personal  repugnance,  which  existed  towards 
me  at  the  English  Court.  The  Prince's  answers  were  most  satis 
factory  in  every  point  of  view.  The  very  slowness  with  which  he 
has  to  express  himself  in  French  is  the  result,  not  of  an  exces 
sive  prudence,  but  of  the  desire  to  leave  nothing  obscure  or  vague." 
"You  may  judge  by  these  words,"  added  M.  Walewski,  "how 
much  the  Emperor  appreciates  the  Prince,  and  what  confidence  he 
has  in  him.  Do  you  know  what  was  the  impression  on  his  side 
which  the  Prince  brought  back  with  him  from  Boulogne  ?  "  "  Away 
from  official  duty  as  I  have  been  for  the  last  six  weeks,"  I  replied, 
"  I  am  completely  in  the  dark  as  to  what  the  world  is  saying  on 
this  subject,  but  I  can  a  priori  form  an  opinion  for  myself  of  what 
his  impression  was.  The  Prince,  with  his  philosophical  head  and 


1854  ON  EMPEROR   OF  THE  FRENCH.  125 

his  gift  of  political  insight,  could  not  fail  to  comprehend  and  to 
rate  at  its  true  value  the  Emperor's  calm,  reflective,  and  positive 
mind/' ! 

"We  shall  have  occasion  hereafter  to  show  that  the  better 
the  Emperor  of  the  French  knew  the  Prince,  the  higher  was 
his  admiration  for  the  qualities  which  he  had  recognised  in 
him  from  the  first.  Writing  on  the  15th  of  August,  1857, 
to  the  Queen,  after  a  short  visit  to  Osborne,  he  spoke  his 
conviction  in  a  few  words,  which  contain  just  such  a  pane 
gyric  as  probably  the  Prince  would  most  have  coveted— 
'  Lorsqu'on  a  su  appreder  les  connaissances  variees  et  le 
jugement  eleve  du  Prince,  on  revient  d'aupres  de  lui  plus 
instruit  et  plus  apte  a  faire  le  bien.'  Yes,  this  was  the 
Prince's  best  encomium, — that  it  made  all  who  came  under 
his  influence  'plus  aptes  a  faire  le  lien.' 


126 


CHAPTER   LVIL 

ON  the  15th  of  September  the  Court  reached  Balmoral.  The 
new  house  there  had  been  roofed  in,  and  the  Prince  was 
well  satisfied  with  the  general  effect  of  the  building.  The 
same  day  tidings  were  received  b}T  the  Queen  of  the  sailing  of 
the  Allied  forces  for  the  Crimea  upon  the  7th.  Since  the 
Spanish  Armada  sailed  from  Lisbon  in  1588,  no  such  fleet 
had  covered  the  seas  as  that  which  had  been  mustered  at 
Yarna  for  this  expedition  ;  and,  carrying  as  it  did  the  flower 
of  both  the  English  and  French  armies  on  an  enterprise  sur 
rounded  with  more  than  usual  uncertainty,  the  anxiety  may 
be  imagined,  with  which  further  intelligence  was  looked  for 
by  the  Queen  and  Prince.  It  came  earlier  than  was  expected. 
On  the  21st  a  telegram  from  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  dated 
at  nine  o'clock  the  previous  evening,  announced  that  25,000 
English,  25,000  French,  and  8,000  Turks,  had  landed  safely 
at  Eupatoria,  4  without  meeting  with  any  resistance,'  and 
that  they  had  at  once  begun  to  march  on  Sebastopol.1 

Whilst  all  were  flushed  with  this  intelligence,  Baron 
Stockmar  arrived,  the  most  welcome  of  guests,  looking,  the 
Prince  notes,  '  very  -well  and  cheerful.'  Sir  Greorge  Grrey, 
who  had  accompanied  the  Queen  to  Balmoral  as  Minister  in 
attendance,  was  laid  up  at  Abergeldie  from  the  effect  of  an 

1  The  Duke  received  his  information  from  the  editor  of  the  Morning 
Chronicle,  who  had  communicated  a  te^gram  from  a  private  correspondent. 
The  place  of  landing,  it  will  l»e  remembered,  was  at  '  Old  Fort,'  some  distance 
from  Eupatoria. 


1854  COURT  AT  BALMORAL.  127 

accident ;  and  Her  Majesty  was  looking  eagerly  for  the 
arrival  of  Lord  Aberdeen,  who  had  been  ill,  and,  as  Sir  James 
Graham  wrote,  needed  '  a  change  of  scene,  and  some  North- 
country  air  to  raise  his  spirits  and  restore  his  drooping 
energy.'  It  was  apparent  that  the  severe  strain  of  the  last 
eighteen  months  had  told  so  seriously  upon  his  health,  that, 
unless  intermitted,  it  might  become  dangerous.  On  the  17th 
the  Prince  had  written  to  him  : — 

'  We  hope  very  much  that  you  will  not  delay  your  journey 
to  Scotland  too  long,  for  ourselves,  and  on  your  own  account. 
The  news  from  Sebastopol  cannot  come  so  fast  as  one  fancies, 
and  for  any  decision  to  be  taken  with  respect  to  what  may 
take  place,  that  may  be  done  from  here  as  well  as  from 
London.  There  remains  then  the  only  argument  for  your 
staying,  that  you  would  be  abused  for  coming  away.  This 
is  very  likely,  as  abusing  you  is  a  large  portion  of  the  trade 
of  the  political  public ;  but  they  will  take  any  other  ground, 
perhaps  the  very  fact  of  your  staying,  in  order  to  misrepresent 
the  motive  for  it.  As  there  is  nothing  real  in  it,  however,  it 
can  do  no  harm.  .  .  .  London  is  really  very  unwholesome, 
and  the  mountain  air  will  much  refresh  you.' 

On  the  22nd  the  Queen  repeated,  under  her  own  hand, 
with  increased  urgency,  her  wish  that  Lord  Aberdeen  should 
seek  the  refreshment  of  his  native  air  : — 

'  The  good  news  of  the  landing  of  the  troops  in  the  Crimea 
will  have  given  Lord  Aberdeen  sincere  pleasure.  The  Queen 
must  now  very  strongly  urge  upon  Lord  Aberdeen  the 
necessity  for  his  health  of  his  coming  at  once  to  Scotland. 
The  siege  of  Sebastopol  may  be  long — and  it  is  when  Sebas 
topol  is  once  taken,  that  the  difficulties  respecting  what  is 
to  be  done  with  it  will  arise— and  then  Lord  Aberdeen's 
presence  will  be  necessary  in  town.  Besides,  a  week  of  our 


128  THE  BATTLE   ON  THE  ALMA.  1854 

short  three  weeks'  stay  has  already  elapsed,  and,  if  Lord 
Aberdeen  delays  longer,  the  reason  for  being  near  to  the 
Queen  (which  he  would  be  at  Hadclo)  would  no  longer  exist. 
The  Queen  must  therefore  almost  insist  on  his  coming 
speedily  north,  where  he  will  in  a  short  time  take  in  a  stock 
of  health,  which  will  carry  him  well  through  the  next  winter 
and  session.  .  .  .  Lord  Aberdeen  knows  that  his  health  is  not 
his  own  alone,  but  that  she  and  the  country  have  as  much 
interest  in  it  as  he  and  his  own  family  have.' 

Eeluctantly  quitting  his  post  at  head-quarters  in  com 
pliance  with  these  representations,  Lord  Aberdeen  came  to 
Balmoral,  where  he  arrived  on  the  27th,  '  much  fagged  and 
depressed.'  He  remained,  improving  visibly  during  his  brief 
stay,  till  the  30th,  when  he  went  to  his  own  seat  of  Haddo 
in  another  part  of  Aberdeenshire.  Scarcely  had  he  done  so, 
when  a  telegram  from  Lord  Clarendon  to  the  Queen  an 
nounced,  on  the  authority  of  Lord  Stratford  de  EedclirTe,  the 
successful  issue  of  the  attack  of  the  Allied  armies  upon  the 
Russian  position  at  the  Alma  on  the  20th  of  September. 
The  same  day  brought  another  telegram,  based  on  a  report 
from  Bucharest,  that  Sebastopol  had  fallen  after  an  attack 
by  sea  and  land.  Had  any  due  estimate  been  formed  of  the 
magnitude  of  the  task  which  the  Allied  forces  had  set  them 
selves,  this  second  report  could  never  have  been  treated  as 
otherwise  than  most  improbable.  Yet  in  writing  to  the 
Queen  (30th  September),  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  says  :  '  Con 
firmation  of  this  blessed  news  will  probably  be  received  in 
the  course  of  a  few  hours  ; '  and  even  Lord  Aberdeen,  little  apt 
as  he  was  to  be  sanguine,  admitted  that  he  had  brought 
himself  to  believe  the  report,  notwithstanding  4  the  absurdities 
and  exaggerations  of  the  account.'  In  a  letter  to  the  Queen 
(1st  October),  after  mentioning  that  the  account  of  the  victory 
on  the  Alma  '  must  be  correct,'  he  expresses  his  opinion  that 


i854  RUMOURED  FALL   OF  SEBASTOPOL.  129 

the  other  report  '  may  possibly  be  so  too.  At  all  events,  we 
may  fairly  hope  that  the  fall  of  Sebastopol  cannot  long  be 
delayed.'  A  few  days'  reflection  modified  this  hopefulness  of 
view,  and  on  the  sixteenth  he  again  writes  to  the  Queen :  '  If 
the  garrison  of  Sebastopol  remains  entire,  a  first  blow  only 
has  been  struck,  which  still  leaves  much  to  be  done,  and 
gives  rise  to  great  anxiety.'  And  in  the  same  letter  he  refers 
to  his  personal  remembrance  of  the  fact,  '  that  at  the  time  of 
the  battle  of  Austerlitz  the  country  was  in  ecstasy  for  three 
or  four  days  at  the  report  of  a  great  victory  obtained  over 
the  French,  the  truth  of  which  was  so  fatally  contradicted.' 2 
Meanwhile,  what  was  to  be  done  with  Sebastopol,  if 
taken,  was  a  question  which  had  engaged  the  attention  of 
the  Ministry  ever  since  the  attack  upon  it  had  been  finally 
resolved  on.  Lord  Aberdeen  was  of  opinion  that  it  should 
be  completely  destroyed,  as  otherwise  it  might  become  a 
cause  of  quarrel.  Lord  John  Russell  was  only  for  razing  the 
seaward  defences.  They  both  concurred  in  thinking  that  the 
Crimea,  if  taken,  should  not  be  given  to  the  Turks — an  opinion 
in  which  they  were  strongly  supported  by  Lord  Stratford  de 
Kedcliffe,  who,  as  Lord  Aberdeen  says  in  writing  (15th  Sept.) 
to  Lord  Clarendon,  (  has  more  than  once  deprecated  the  idea 
of  any  increase  of  territory  in  that  quarter.  He  knows  them 
too  well.'  The  very  opposite  of  these  views,  however,  was  at 
this  time,  and  for  some  time  afterwards,  held  by  Lord  Palmers- 
ton,  his  idea  being  that  Sebastopol  should  not  be  destroyed, 

2  It  is  due  to  Lord  Clarendon  to  say  that  he  did  not  share  the  general 
belief.  In  writing  to  the  Queen  (1st  October),  'to  congratulate  Her  Majesty 
upon  the  victory  with  which  Her  Majesty's  arms  have  been  crowned  in  the 
first  encounter  with  the  enemy,'  he  adds,  with  reference  to  the  report  of  the 
fall  of  Sebastopol,  '  The  Kussians  cannot  have  experienced  great  loss  in  their 
superior  position  ;  and  if  30,000  or  40,000  effected  a  safe  retreat  to  Sebastopol, 
it  is  hardly  credible  that  they  should  have  surrendered  the  place  in  two  days.' 
By  the  5th  of  October  it  was  known  in  England  that  the  rumour  was  pure 
fiction,  resting  on  no  better  authority  than  the  statement  of  a  Tatar,  whose 
very  existence  was  more  than  doubtful. 

VOL.  III.  K 


1 30  CABINET  DIFFICULTIES.  1854 

and  that  the  Crimea  should  be  added  to  the  Turkish  empire. 
Now  that  the  fall  of  the  great  stronghold  seemed  to  be 
imminent,  Lord  Aberdeen  informed  the  Queen  that  he 
adhered  to  his  first  proposition  for  the  immediate  and  entire 
destruction  of  the  works. 

'  He  did  not  see,'  he  added,  '  the  advantage  of  doing  the  thing 
by  halves  ;  while  the  destruction  of  the  sea  defences  only  might 
give  rise  to  erroneous  impressions,  and  would  be  of  an  equivocal 
character.  The  fall  of  Sebastopol  would  be,  in  fact,  the  conquest 
of  the  Crimea,  and  the  Allies  might  winter  there  with  perfect 
security,  as  by  occupying  the  lines  of  Perekop,  any  access  to  the 
Crimea  would  effectually  be  prevented  by  land.  Lord  Aberdeen 
also  thinks  that  with  a  view  to  peace,  and  the  restitution  of  the 
Crimea  to  Russia,  it  would  be  more  easy  for  the  Emperor  to 
accept  the  destruction  of  the  fortifications  when  accomplished, 
than  to  agree  to  any  stipulation  having  such  an  object.  .  .  .  The 
great  objection  to  leaving  the  matter  undecided  appears  to  be  the 
possibility  of  differences  hereafter  between  France  and  England 
upon  the  subject.  The  Turks,  too,  might  perhaps  desire  to  have 
a  voice  in  the  matter,  and  might  become  troublesome.' 

In  acknowledging  this  letter  next  day,  the  Queen  recorded 
her  entire  agreement  '  in  the  statesmanlike  views '  expressed 
in  it.  Long  before  a  decision  had  to  be  taken,  events  had 
settled  the  question  very  conclusively.  For  the  time,  how 
ever,  the  divergence  of  opinion  on  the  subject  in  the  Cabinet 
added  to  the  home  troubles  of  its  chief.  These  were  neither 
few  nor  slight.  Lord  John  Russell  was  again  urging  the  im 
possibility  of  going  on  with  a  Parliament  which  had  shown 
itself  so  intractable,  and  complaining  with  others  of  want  of 
vigour  in  the  conduct  of  the  war.  The  hopes  of  immense 
achievements  in  the  Baltic  had  been  disappointed.  What 
was  it,  that  the  Russian  fleet  had  been  kept  in  durance,  if  it 
was  still  safe?  What  that  Bomarsund  had  been  taken,  if 
Sweaborg  and  Cronstadt  still  frowned  defiance  to  our  ships  ? 
The  fiery  ardour  of  Sir  Charles  Napier,  from  which  so  much 


1854     DISAPPOINTMENT   WITH  BALTIC  FLEET.       131 

had  been  expected,  had  cooled,  as  many  thought,  without 
sufficient  cause,  and  he  was  now  engaged  in  a  hostile  contro 
versy  with  the  First  Lord  of  the  Admiralty,  that  contrasted 
unpleasantly  with  the  same  official's  recent  panegyric  of  the 
hero  of  Acre  at  the  Eeform  Club  dinner.  In  this  corre 
spondence  each  tried  to  throw  upon  the  other  the  blame 
with  which  the  public,  as  both  had  begun  to  feel,  intended  to 
avenge  its  disappointment  for  the  failure  of  the  extravagant 
expectations  which  had  been  raised.3  Great  dissatisfaction 
was  also  finding  a  voice  in  the  journals — an  echo  of  what  was 
felt  in  the  Black  Sea  fleet  itself, — at  the  want  of  energy  and 
spirit,  which,  but  for  the  presence  of  these  qualities  in  Sir 
Edmund  Lyons  in  an  unusual  degree,  might  have  made  our 
operations  there  even  more  abortive.  Demands  arose  within 
the  Cabinet  for  the  recall  of  Admiral  Dundas — a  step  which, 
at  such  a  critical  moment,  would  certainly  not  have  enhanced 
our  prestige  before  our  enemies  or  the  world.  Lord  Raglan 
also  was  vehemently  assailed,  with  how  much  consistency 
may  be  judged  from  the  fact,  that  the  same  member  of  the 

3  Sir  Charles  Napier,  speaking  at  a  dinner  at  the  Mansion  House  in  Feb 
ruary  1855,  made  a  vehement  attack  upon  Sir  James  Graham,  which  he  wound 
up  with  these  words — '  I  state  it  to  the  public,  and  I  wish  them  to  know,  that, 
had  I  followed  the  advice  of  Sir  J.  Graham,  I  should  most  inevitably  have  left 
the  British  fleet  behind  me  in  the  Baltic.'1  This  he  undertook  to  prove  before 
all  the  world — a  pledge  which  he  was  never  allowed,  and  would  probably  have 
found  it  hard  to  redeem.  The  attack  was  made  in  terms  so  unseemly  that  the 
Government  were  asked  in  the  House  of  Commons  a  few  nights  afterwards 
(16th  February  \  if  they  intended  to  take  proceedings  against  the  rebellious 
Admiral.  '  He  has  proclaimed,  himself  a  hero,'  was  Sir  James  Graham's 
answer  ;  'but  it  is  not  my  intention  to  allow  the  gallant  officer  to  dub  himself 
a  martyr  as  well  as  a  hero  ;  and  therefore  it  is  not  my  intention  to  advise  the 
Crown  to  take  any  further  notice  of  the  matter.'  Replying  to  a  taunt  about 
his  speech  at  the  Reform  Club,  Sir  James  Graham  remarked,  on  the  same  occa 
sion,  '  I  underwent  due  correction  in  this  House  on  the  subject  of  that  speech  ; 
since  that  correction  was  made,  I  hope  I  have  improved  in  prudence.'  The 
honour  of  Grand  Cross  of  the  Bath  was  offered  a  few  months  afterwards  to 
Sir  Charles  Napier  ,  but  he  declined  it,  stating  in  a  letter  to  the  Prince  (6th 
July,  1855)  as  his  reason  for  doing  so.  that  having  demanded  a  court-martial  from 
the  Admiralty  to  investigate  his  conduct,  and  this  having  been  refused,  'he  did 
not  feel  he  could  accept  an  honour  till  his  character  was  cleared.' 

K  2 


132  DETAILS  OF  BATTLE   OF  ALMA  1854 

Government,  who  had  been  urgent  for  his  trial  by  a  Court 
of  Inquiry,  became  equally  urgent  a  week  afterwards,  when 
news  of  the  victory  of  the  Alma  reached  England,  that  he 
should  at  once  receive  the  honour  of  the  Garter. 

Meanwhile  every  day  brought  fresh  tidings  of  the  events 
of  that  memorable  fight,  when,  in  a  few  hours,  the  Eussian 
army  was  driven  from  a  commanding  position,  which  Prince 
Menschikoff  had  pledged  himself  to  the  Czar  to  hold  against 
the  invaders  for  three  weeks.  On  the  8th  Lord  Burghersh 
arrived  in  London,  bearing  despatches  from  Lord  Raglan  with 
the  details  of  the  battle.  His  report  as  to  the  Commander-in- 
chief,  said  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  writing  to  the  Queen  the 
same  day,  was  '  that  never  for  a  moment  did  Lord  Eaglan 
evince  any  greater  excitement  or  concern  than  he  shows  on 
ordinary  occasions.  Never  since  the  days  of  the  Great  Duke 
lias  any  army  felt  such  confidence  in  and  love  for  its  leader, 
and  never  probably  did  any  general  acquire  such  influence 
over  the  Allies,  with  whom  he  was  acting.'  To  the  same 
effect  was  the  report,  the  day  after  the  battle,  of  Brigadier 
General  Hugh  Rose  (now  Lord  Strathnairn)  to  the  Duke  of 
Newcastle.  f  As  my  duty,'  he  wrote,  '  is  to  report  to  your  lord 
ship  facts,  I  certainly  ought  not  to  omit  an  important  one, 
which  ensured  the  success  of  the  day.  I  speak  of  the  perfect 
calmness  of  Lord  Raglan  under  heavy  fire,  and  his  deter 
mination  to  carry  the  most  difficult  position  in  his  front, 
a  feat  in  arms  which  has  excited  the  universal  admiration 
of  the  French  army.' 

What  Lord  Raglan  himself  had  to  report  of  the  conduct  of 
the  troops  was  all  that  could  be  wished.  Wasted  for  two 
months  previously  by  the  scourge  of  cholera  which  '  pursued 
them  to  the  very  battle-field,'  '  exposed  since  they  had  landed 
in  the  Crimea  to  the  extremes  of  wet,  cold,  and  heat,'  '  in 
the  ardour  of  the  attack  they  forgot  all  they  had  endured, 
and  displayed  that  high  courage  for  which  the  British  soldier 


1854  REACH  ENGLAND.  133 

is  ever  distinguished  ;  and  under  the  heaviest  fire  they  main 
tained  the  same  determination  to  conquer  as  they  had  ex 
hibited  before  they  went  into  action.'  But  the  feeling's  of 
triumph,  with  which  a  victory  so  brilliant  was  hailed  within 
the  Palace,  were  dashed  with  sadness  at  the  thought  of  the 
price  at  which  it  had  been  bought.  Accordingly  we  find  the 
Queen  writing  to  Lord  Clarendon  (10th  October),  that 
she  '  fully  enters  into  the  feelings  of  exultation  and  joy  at 
the  glorious  victory  of  the  Alma,  but  this  is  somewhat 
damped  by  the  sad  loss  we  have  sustained,  and  the  thought 
of  the  many  bereaved  families  of  all  classes,  who  are  in 
mourning  for  those  most  dear  to  them.' 

How  eagerly  the  Prince  studied  every  detail  of  what  was 
passing  in  the  Crimea  during  these  eventful  days,  is  shown  by 
the  care  with  which  he  accumulated  whatever  documents 
could  bring  most  vividly  into  view  every  incident  of  impor 
tance.  Among  these,  not  the  least  interesting  are  letters 
from  officers,  written  from  their  bivouacs,  while  the  fever  of 
the  battle  was  still  hot  within  their  veins,  and  the  bloody  traces 
of  the  conflict  were  still  before  their  eyes.  To  read  such 
letters,  with  their  records  of  daring  and  death,  of  privations 
uncomplainingly  borne,  and  of  manly  gratitude  for  life  and 
limb  unhurt,  stirs  the  heart  strangely  even  after  a  long  lapse 
of  years.  How  must  they  have  moved  those  who,  like  the 
Queen  and  Prince,  were  watching  so  intently  every  move 
ment  of  the  tremendous  drama  which  had  now  begun  !  In 
all  these  letters  the  conduct  of  the  troops — troops  for  the 
most  part  new  to  active  service — is  highly  spoken  of.  Thus, 
for  example,  in  one  that  is  enriched  by  an  admirable  drawing 
of  the  ground  over  which  the  battle  was  fought,  this 
passage  occurs  :  '  The  behaviour  of  the  men  has  been  beyond 
all  praise,  and  I  am  confident,  that  having  stood  such  a 
pounding  as  they  did,  their  future  success  in  any  possible 
undertaking  need  not  be  doubted.' 


134  LETTER  BY   THE  PRINCE.  1854 

The  Prince  was  proud — he  had  good  reason  to  be  so— of 
the  doings  of  his  own  regiment  (1st  Grenadier  Guards),  and 
he  wrote  to  its  commanding  officer,  Colonel  Grosvenor  Hood, 
as  follows  : — 

'  My  dear  Colonel  Hood — I  cannot  resist  writing  you  a 
line  to  express  my  admiration  of  the  manner  in  which  the 
battalion  of  my  regiment  under  your  command  bore  itself 
in  that  desperate  fight  at  the  Alma,  and  my  pleasure  and 
satisfaction  at  the  fact,  that  upon  the  whole  it  suffered  less 
in  the  action  than  the  other  battalions  of  our  noble  Brigade 
of  Guards.  I  feel  sure,  that  a  good  deal  of  this,  as  well  as 
of  the  shock  you  were  able  to  give  the  enemy,  was  owing  to 
the  judicious  manner  in  which  you  re-formed  your  line  under 
the  bank  of  the  river  before  advancing.4  I  am  afraid  you 
have  all  had  to  go  through  a  good  deal  of  hardship  and 
privation,  and  that  your  labours  will  not  yet  be  over ;  but  I 
trust  that  the  same  spirit  and  courage  which  have  enabled 
you  hitherto  to  surmount  every  difficulty,  will  attend  you  to 
the  end,  and  that  the  Almighty  will  continue  to  bless  the 
efforts  of  our  brave  army  in  the  East. 

4  Some  additional  reinforcements  are  going  out  imme 
diately  to  keep  your  numbers  full,  but  I  am  sorry  to  say  the 
recruiting  is  going  on  very  slowly.  The  Fusiliers  and  Cold- 
streams  feel  this  still  more,  as  they  have  only  one  battalion  to 
draw  upon  for  their  reinforcements.  Believe  me  always,  &c. 

'  ALBERT. 

'Windsor  Castle,  17th  October,  1854.' 

Leaving  Balmoral  on  the  llth  of  October,  the  Court 
reached  Windsor  Castle  on  the  14th,  having  halted  at 
Edinburgh  and  Hull  on  the  way.  The  object  in  visiting 
Hull  was  to  inspect  the  docks  there,  and  also  those  at 

4  The  successful  operation  here  referred  to  is  dwelt  upon  in  Mr.  Kinglake's 
work  (vol.  iii.  p.  220,  6th  edition).  Colonel  Hood  was  killed  in  the  trenches 
at  Sebastopol  before  this  letter  could  have  reached  him. 


1854  FLANK  MARCH  TO  BALACLAVA.  135 

Grimsby,  of  which  the  Prince  had  laid  the  first  stone  on  the 
18th  of  April,  1849.5  At  Edinburgh  the  Queen  received 
intelligence  that  the  idea  of  assaulting  the  north  side  of 
Sebastopol  had  been  abandoned  in  deference  to  the  views  of 
General  St.  Arnaud,  and  that  the  army  had  made  the  cele 
brated  flank  march  to  Balaclava,  and  thereby  secured  a  safe 
basis  for  future  operations.  It  was  not  then  known,  that 
both  Lord  Raglan  and  Sir  John  Burgoyne  had  all  along  been 
favourable  to  the  idea  of  attacking  Sebastopol  from  the  south, 
and  that  they  were  by  no  means  insensible  to  the  difficulties 
to  be  overcome  before  Sebastopol  could  be  assaulted  from  the 
north.  Despite  what  has  been  suggested  to  the  contrary  by 
the  historian  of  the  campaign,  it  would  seem,  that  the  line 
adopted  by  the  Allies  was  due  quite  as  much  to  this  circum 
stance,  as  to  the  French  Commander-in-chief's  unwillingness 
to  undertake  the  storming  of  the  Star  Fort  which  commanded 
the  Belbek,  and  barred  the  advance  upon  the  north  side  of 
the  city.6  Lord  Kaglan  would  otherwise  scarcely  have  been 
diverted  from  his  original  intention  of  following  up  the 
success  at  the  Alma  by  an  immediate  advance  and  assault  of 
Sebastopol  at  the  nearest  point.  That  the  Allies  committed 
a  mistake  in  not  pursuing  this  course  has  since  been  main 
tained  by  the  Russians  themselves.  Whether  this  was  so  or 
not,  is  one  of  those  questions  where  much  may  be  said  on 
both  sides,  but  which,  by  their  very  nature,  admit  of  no 
certain  conclusion.  In  the  same  category  may  be  classed 
the  question,  whether  they  were  not  again  mistaken  in 
not  at  once  delivering  an  assault  when  they  reached  the 
south  side.  Much  controversy  arose  on  both  points,  when  it 
was  seen,  that,  having  lost  their  first  opportunity  for  an  assault, 

5  See  vol.  ii.  ante,  p.  167. 

6  See  Memorandum  by  Sir  John  Burgoyne,  published  by  Major  Elphinstone 
in  the  official  account  of  the  siege  of  Sebastopol,  Part  I.  p.  107;  also  letters  by 
Sir  John  Burgoyne  published  in  his  Life  and  Correspondence  by   Lieut. -Col. 
Wrottesley,  E.  E.  London,  1873.     Vol.  ii.  pp.  93  and  161. 


136  LETTER  BY  THE  QUEEN.  1854 

the  Allied  armies  were  compelled  to  prepare  for  a  protracted 
siege.  But,  on  the  tidings  of  the  flank  inarch  first  reaching 
England,  it  was  regarded  as  a  masterly  conception  brilliantly 
carried  out,  while  in  fact  it  was  simply  a  most  hazardous 
venture,  that  owed  its  success  to  the  lucky  accident  of  the 
Russian  army  under  Menschikoff  having  just  before  been 
withdrawn  from  Sebastopol,  and  carried  beyond  the  line  of 
march  of  the  Allies. 

The  Russians  were  not  slow  to  profit  by  the  delay  in  the 
attack  upon  Sebastopol,  and  by  the  24th  of  October  our 
Government  were  in  possession  of  disquieting  information, 
that  the  difficulties  of  the  siege  were  much  more  serious 
than  had  been  anticipated.  From  Hull  the  Queen  wrote  the 
following  letter  to  King  Leopold  : — 

'Hull,  13th  October,  1854. 

'  We  are,  and  indeed  the  whole  country  is,  entirely  en 
grossed  with  one  idea,  one  anxious  thought,  the  Crimea. 
We  have  received  all  the  most  interesting  and  gratifying 
details  of  the  splendid  and  decisive  victory  of  the  Alma. 
Alas !  it  was  a  bloody  one.  Our  loss  was  heavy,  many  have 
fallen  and  many  are  wounded.  But  my  noble  troops  behaved 
with  a  courage  and  determination  truly  admirable.  The 
Russians  expected  their  position  would  hold  out  three  weeks. 
Their  loss  was  immense  ;  the  whole  garrison  of  Sebastopol 
was  out.  Since  then  the  army  has  performed  a  wonderful 
march  to  Balaclava,  and  the  bombardment  of  Sebastopol  has 
begun.  Lord  Raglan's  behaviour  was  worthy  of  the  Old 
Duke's — such  coolness  in  the  midst  of  the  hottest  fire.  .  .  . 
I  feel  so  proud  of  my  dear  noble  troops,  who,  they  say,  bear 
their  privations,  and  the  sad  disease  which  still  haunts  them, 
with  the  greatest  courage  and  good-humour.' 

Meanwhile  the  negotiations  with  Austria  for  a  concerted 
action  were  again  marred  by  Prussia's  declaration  that, 
should  Austria  enter  the  field  against  Russia,  she  would 


1854  THE  PRINCE   ON  PRUSSIAN  POLICY.  137 

consider  herself  absolved  from  the  conditions  of  the  defensive 
and  offensive  treaty  which  subsisted  between  Austria  and 
herself.  When  this  became  known,  the  indignation  roused 
against  Prussia  both  in  England  and  France  was  so  great, 
that  the  Prince  considered  it  expedient  to  call  the  attention 
of  the  Prince  of  Prussia  (now  Emperor  of  Grermany),  in  the 
following  letter,  to  the  serious  alienation  between  the  coun 
tries  likely  to  ensue  from  Prussia's  perseverance  in  this  line 
of  policy : — 

'  The  present  moment  is  so  critical,  and  seems  to  me  to 
be  so  decisive  for  the  future  destiny  of  Prussia,  that  I  can 
not  refrain  from  writing  a  few  lines  to  you.  I  enclose  (in 
strictest  confidence)  the  copy  of  a  letter,  which  I  wrote  to 
the  King  now  two  months  ago.7  Everything  of  which  I  there 
expressed  myself  apprehensive,  has  since  then  either  proved 
true,  or  is  in  the  way  of  becoming  so.  The  feeling  of 
soreness  here  and  in  France  against  Prussia  is  upon  the  in 
crease,  people  regarding  her  as  the  only  friend  of  Russia, 
and  the  only  reason  why  an  united  Europe  is  unable  to  put 
a  speedy  stop  to  the  war.  Much  blood,  and  of  the  best  in 
England,  has  flowed,  and  men  are  in  nowise  different  from 
beasts  in  this — if  they  have  seen  blood,  they  are  no  longer 
the  same  an.d  are  not  to  be  controlled.  Sinope  swept  us  out 
of  the  career  of  diplomatic  negotiations  all  at  once  into 
that  of  military  demonstrations,  and  so  on  into  war.  The 
Alma  and  Sebastopol  have  obliterated  the  Eastern  Question, 
and  the  cry  is  now  for  the  annihilation  of  Russia.  Already 
the  talk  in  Paris  is  of  the  restitution  of  Poland,  and  this  finds 
an  echo  in  England  ;  and  in  Boulogne  the  army,  as  I  now 
hear,  was  in  hopes  to  have  to  fight  next  year  with  Prussia. 

'  The  danger  of  a  general  European  war  may  probably  be 
averted,  if  Austria,  joins  our  alliance  franldy  and  fairly. 
Meanwhile  to  prevent  this  seems  to  be  the  main  object  of 

7  This  was  the  letter  cited  aLove,  p.  97. 


138  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

the  present  Prussian  policy,  because  perhaps  those  who  sway 
it  feel,  that  they  must  soon  either  follow  suit,  or  have  to 
confront  all  Europe  single-handed.  The  greater  meanwhile 
the  efforts  are,  which  are  demanded  from  France,  the  greater 
will  be  the  claims  which  she  will  feel  herself  justified  in 
putting  forward  at  the  end  of  the  war;  and  the  more 
thoroughly  we  shall  have  to  bear  the  brunt  of  the  conflict 
with  France  as  our  only  ally,  the  more  shall  we  be  com 
pelled  to  give  our  full  support  to  these  claims,  however  little 
in  our  hearts  we  may  approve  them.  What  other  country,  of 
which  history  tells,  has  ever  had  to  pay  smart-money  like 
Prussia  ?  And  why  was  this,  but  because  she  was  disunited, 
and  out  of  sheer  weakness  pursued  an  ambiguous  policy  ? 

*  These  are  all  apprehensions  which  press  upon  me,  and 
which  I  could  not  refrain  from  imparting  to  you  for  what 
they  are  worth.  I  fear,  moreover,  that  passion  will  lead  to 
injustice,  as  the  attacks  of  our  press  on  Prussia  already  show 
that  they  provoke  the  same  feelings  and  the  same  faults  in 
Prussia ;  and,  no  doubt,  before  long,  nations,  which  have 
every  reason  and  every  interest  to  maintain  the  warmest 
mutual  friendship,  will  be  misled  into  the  foolish  notion 
that  they  should  in  fact  be  enemies,  and  hate  each  other. 
For  to  be  able  to  revile  the  King  (take  The  Times  for 
example)  without  pouring  obloquy  on  the  nation,  is  a  feat 
too  difficult  for  mortal  ingenuity  to  accomplish. 

'  You  will  of  course  follow  the  operations  in  the  Crimea 
with  great  interest,  being  a  soldier,  and  knowing  the  contend 
ing  armies  so  well  as  you  do.  Ours  has  shown  great  gallantry 
in  storming  the  redoubt  upon  the  Alma,  and  the  flank  march 
to  Balaclava  reflects  the  highest  honour  on  whoever  devised 
it.  It  is  ascribed  to  Sir  John  Burgoyne,8  and  to  the  circurn- 

8  And  with  truth  (see  ante,  p.  13o,  note  6).  Sir  John  Burgoyne's  reasons 
for  attacking  Sebastopol  from  the  south,  as  given  in  his  published  correspon 
dence,  seem  to  be  unanswerable ;  but,  indeed,  after  yielding  to  the  objections  to 


1854  TO    THE  PRINCE   OF  PRUSSIA.  139 

stance  that  the  French  shrank  from  attacking  the  redoubts 
on  the  Belbek,  which  lay  on  their  line  of  march.  Our 
army  took  the  place  of  honour  at  the  Alma,  forming  as  it 
did  the  left  wing,  which  was  uncovered  ;  it  led  the  van  upon 
the  march,  and  is  now  once  more,  at  the  request  of  our  Allies, 
the  uncovered  right  wing  of  the  besieging  army  south  of 
Sebastopol.  To  Lord  Raglan  this  request  gives  as  much 
pleasure  as  a  victory  over  the  Russians.  Most  strange  it  is 
that  the  Russians  at  the  Alma  left  all  their  wounded  to  their 
fate  and  to  our  mercy,  that  they  brought  no  colours  into 
action,  and  that  the  Emperor  has  not  sent  one  of  his  sons  to 
the  army  ! 9 

4  Farewell !  Say  everything  that  is  kind  from  me  to  your 
dear  son,  and  think  like  a  friend  of  your  faithful  kinsman, 

'  ALBERT. 

'Windsor  Castle,  23rd  October,  1854.' 

A  few  days  brought  intelligence  which  somewhat  abated 
the  high  expectations  raised  by  the  success  of  the  flank 
march.  Profiting  by  the  failure  of  the  Allied  armies  to 
follow  it  up  by  an  assault  on  Sebastopol,  the  Russians,  who 
had  been  indefatigable  in  throwing  up  works  of  defence,  had 
made  their  position  so  secure,  that  it  was  now  beginning  to 
be  seen  that  a  siege,  and  probably  a  protracted  one,  was  in 
evitable.  When  the  Allies  opened  fire  on  the  17th  of  October, 
the  French  batteries  were  silenced  in  a  few  hours,  and  the 
English  guns  had  enough  to  do  to  hold  their  own  against 
the  vigorous  fire  of  the  Russian  batteries.  Reinforcements 
were  pouring  into  the  Crimea ;  the  troops  which  had  been 
withdrawn  from  the  town  were  brought  back,  and  the  be 
siegers  were  themselves  compelled  to  stand  on  the  defensive  ; 

attacking  the  fort  on  the  Belbek,  what  choice  was  left  but  to  seek  a  base  for 
operations  at  Balaclava  and  the  other  harbours  south  of  Sebastopol  ? 

9  Before  this  letter  was  written  two  of  them,  the  Archdukes  Michael  and 
Nicholas,  were  on  their  way  to  Sebastopol,  where  their  arrival  was  signalised 
by  the  memorable  attack  on  our  lines  at  Inkermann  on  the  oth  of  November. 


HO  BATTLE   OF  BALACLAVA.  1854 

with  the  long  nights  coming  on,  and  the  rigours  of  winter, 
for  which  they  were  unprepared,  staring  them  in  the  face. 
On  the  3 1  st  of  October  a  telegram  through  a  Russian  channel 
conveyed  the  tidings  that  General  Liprandi  had  attacked  the 
English  detached  camp  at  Balaclava  on  the  25th,  with  the 
startling  result  that  four  redoubts  which  covered  the  camp 
had  been  taken  with  their  guns,  and  that  the  English  had 
lost  half  their  Light  Cavalry  under  Lord  Cardigan.  Coming 
through  such  a  channel,  it  was  hoped  the  extent  of  the 
disaster  might  have  been  exaggerated ;  but  after  a  few  days 
of  most  painful  suspense,  this  hope  was  dispelled  by  intelli 
gence  which  reached  the  Government  on  the  4th  of  November. 
It  was  some  days  later  before  the  full  story  was  known  of  the 
battle  of  Balaclava,  and  of  the  fatal  charge  of  the  Light 
Brigade,  from  which  only  195  men  out  of  673  returned. 

Meanwhile  the  greatest  anxiety  prevailed  throughout  the 
kingdom,  for  although  it  could  be  seen  even  from  the 
Eussian  telegram  that  the  honours  of  the  day  remained  with  the 
English,  these  honours  had  been  too  dearly  won  by  a  porten 
tous  loss  in  the  arm  in  which  they  were  already  too  weak. 
In  any  case,  it  was  certain  that  the  Allied  armies  would  find 
themselves  taxed  to  the  uttermost  to  meet  the  forces  which 
the  Czar  was  preparing  to  launch  against  them.  The  effect 
of  the  occupation  of  the  Principalities  by  Austria  had  been 
to  set  free  the  Russian  invading  army,  and  to  pla/je  it  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Czar  for  use  in  the  Crimea.  It  became, 
therefore,  of  the  highest  importance  to  engage  her  in  active 
operations  on  the  side  of  France  and  England,  and  by  in 
creasing  in  this  way  the  pressure  on  Russia  to  strengthen 
the  chances  of  an  early  peace.  Moreover,  if  Austria  continued 
to  maintain  a  merely  passive  attitude,  the  chances  were  that 
France,  indignant  that  the  German  Powers  should  throw 
upon  herself  alone  with  England  the  burden  of  repressing  by 
force  of  arms  the  outrage  perpetrated  by  Russia  on  public 


1854  PRINCE     TO  KING  LEOPOLD.  141 

law  and  on  the  peace  of  Europe,  which  they  had  joined  the 
Western  Powers  in  reprobating  in  words,  would  seek  before 
long  to  gratify  her  old  ambition  by  attacking  Austria  in 
Italy  and  Germany  on  the  Ehine.  The  voice  of  King 
Leopold,  intimately  related  as  he  was  with  the  Austrian 
Court  through  the  marriage  of  his  son  with  the  Emperor's 
sister,  might  be  presumed  to  have  weight  at  Vienna  in  the 
present  crisis.  It  was  very  natural,  therefore,  that  the 
Prince,  in  the  course  of  his  regular  correspondence  with  the 
King,  should  not  hesitate  to  express  his  apprehensions,  that 
the  war,  if  protracted,  would  spread  from  Turkey  to  the 
centre  of  Europe  ;  and  he  spoke  out  with  his  accustomed 
frankness  in  the  following  letter  :— 

'  Dearest  Uncle, —  ....  I  can  quite  imagine  that  you 
should  be  greatly  disquieted  by  the  present  state  of  politics, 
especially  looking  forward  to  the  coming  year.  If  the 
general  war  is  to  be  averted,  which  may  perhaps  lead  to  a 
change  of  the  cards  of  all  Europe  (as  the  current  phrase  goes), 
this  can  only  be  effected  by  Austria  and  Prussia  going  frankly 
and  fairly  (aufrichtig)  hand  in  hand  with  the  Western 
Powers,  not  for  the  purpose  of  shielding  Russia  from  their 
hostility,  which  even  you  seem  to  dread  may  be  carried  too 
far.  but  in  order  to  protect  Europe  from  the  serious  dangers 
which  would  result  from  Eussia  being  compelled  to  make 
peace.  That  a  peace  shall  be  concluded  before  Russia  has 
sustained  blows  altogether  different  from  those  which  we 
have  hitherto  been  able  to  inflict  on  her,  I  cannot  conceive, 
when  I  reflect  not  merely  on  the  character  of  the  Emperor 
Nicholas,  but  also  on  the  political  situation  with  respect  to 
his  own  subjects,  into  which  he  has  brought  himself  by  the 
war.  On  the  other  hand,  honour  forbids  us,  and  the  very 
instinct  of  self-preservation  forbids  the  Emperor  Napoleon,  to 
forbear  from  turning  to  account  all  the  resources  we  can 


H2  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

command  to  force  him  to  terms.  But,  therefore,  whether 
Sebastopol  fall  or  not,  there  is  not  in  my  opinion  the  slightest 
hope  that  peace  can  be  arrived  at  during  the  winter  by  way 
of  advice  or  discussion,  &c.  &c.,  and  I  fear  that  those  who 
set  up  this  as  their  aim  will  do  no  good,  and  that  they  will 
only  expose  themselves  to  the  risk  of  being  misconstrued. 
To  my  mind  the  only  practical  question  is,  what  will  be 
the  character  of  the  war  next  year  ?  Will  it  be  carried  on  by 
United  Europe  against  Eussia,  or  by  an  Europe  divided  into 
two  camps,  on  the  Rhine  and  in  Italy  ?  That  we  cannot  wish 
for  the  latter  contingency  admits  of  no  doubt.  But  if  it  is 
to  be  averted,  we  must  all  do  our  best  to  bring  about  the 
other  alternative.  Oh,  that  the  politicians  of  the  Continent 
might  be  penetrated  by  this  truth  ! 

'  You  speak  in  your  letter  with  unmistakeable  bitterness  of 
our  French  Alliance,  which  you  call  "  uppermost  in  every 
thing."  And  so  it  is,  but  simply  because  it  is  our  only 
Alliance,  and  because  both  parties  contribute  equal  sacrifices 
without  reserve  paripassu  to  the  common  object.  That  our 
regard  is,  as  you  observe,  not  reciprocated  in  France,  may  be 
true  just  at  present.  So  it  may  have  been  at  the  outset  of 
the  war,  but  it  is  impossible  that  the  armies  of  the  two 
countries  should  share  dangers  and  privations  in  common, 
and  with  so  much  devotion  too,  without  this  reacting  upon 
the  sentiments  of  the  nations  themselves  ;  and  the  idea, 
which  of  late  has  been  frequently  expressed,  "  que,  seule,  la 
France  a  ete  exposee  a  des  revers,  qu\dliee  a  I'Angleterre 
elle  est  invincible"  contains  a  certain  satisfaction  to  the 
vanity  of  the  French  nation.  For  us  the  danger  will  no 
doubt  be  serious,  should  France  play  us  false,  and  actually 
turn  against  ourselves  the  vast  warlike  preparations  which 
we  have  joined  her  in  developing  ;  and  there  are  not  wanting 
people  in  France,  to  represent  to  the  Emperor  the  risk  he 
runs  in  making  common  cause  with  " perfide  Albion"  which 


1 854  TO  KING  LEOPOLD.  143 

may  in  the  end  play  the  traitor,  and  ally  itself  with  his 
enemies; — but  as  men  of  honour  nejther  he  nor  we  can 
entertain  such  a  thought  for  a  moment. 

'  The  longer  Eussia's  resistance  lasts,  and  the  longer  the 
struggle  is  devolved  on  France  and  England  alone,  the  more 
compact  must  their  alliance  become.  As,  then,  France  and 
Napoleon  are  under  all  circumstances  sure  to  cherish  their 
traditional  arrieres  pensees  of  territorial  aggrandisement  at 
their  neighbours'  expense,  the  risk,  as  far  as  these  neigh 
bours  are  concerned,  certainly  is,  that  England  may  some 
day  have  to  stand  by  and  see  things  done,  which  she  herself 
cannot  desire,  but  must  uphold  in  the  interest  of  her  ally. 
This  danger,  I  repeat,  Austria,  Prussia,  and  Germany  may 
avert  by  acting  with  us,  not  in  the  manipulation  of  Protocols, 
which  leave  everything  to  the  exertions  of  the  Western 
Powers,  and  have  no  other  object  but  to  make  sure  that  no 
harm  is  done  •  to  the  enemy.  Such  a  course  is  dishonour 
able,  immoral,  leads  to  distrust,  and  ultimately  to  direct 
hostility.  Already  the  soreness  of  feeling  here  against 
Prussia  is  intense,  nor  can  it  be  less  in  France.  I  have 
made  the  Prince  of  Prussia  aware  of  my  anxiety  on  this 
head. 

'  .  .  .  We  are  in  a  state  of  terrible  excitement  about 
Sebastopol,  as  we  get  nothing  but  Eussian  news,  and  our  own 
comes  so  late,  and  in  such  fragments,  that  it  is  difficult  to 
make  either  head  or  tail  of  it.  The  want  of  cavalry  is  a 
terrible  drawback  to  us.  Nevertheless  I  have  a  firm  con 
viction  the  city  will  fall  before  long. 

'  Windsor  Castle,  6th  November,  1854.' 

The  following  day  came  intelligence  that  the  redoubts  lost 
on  the  25th  of  October  had  been  lost,  not  by  English,  but  by 
Turkish  soldiers,  and  that  against  the  havoc  in  the  Light 
Cavalry  Brigade  might  be  set  a  severe  defeat  previously 


144  BATTLE   OF  BALACLAVA.  1854 

inflicted  on  the  Kussian  horse  by  our  Heavy  Cavalry.10  But  at 
the  same  time  we  heard  of  the  attack  made  on  the  26th  on 
the  English  position  at  Inkermann.  Gallantly  although  it 
had  been  beaten  back  by  Sir  de  Lacy  Evans,  still,  besides 
the  present  sacrifice  of  men,  it  showed  the  danger  to  which 
we  were  exposed  from  the  superior  numbers  of  the  enemy—  a 
danger  of  which  a  terrible  illustration  was  to  be  given  a  few 
days  afterwards  in  the  deadly  onslaught  of  the  5th  of 
November.  To  add  to  our  disquietude,  despatches  from 
Lord  Kaglan,  dated  the  20th  of  October,  announced  that  his 
force  was  reduced  t$  1 6,000  men ;  that  the  siege  was  making 
very  slow  progress,  and  that  it  was  doubtful  whether  he 
could  keep  his  forces  in  the  Crimea  during  the  winter,  even 
although  Sebastopol  should  be  taken.  It  was  under  the 
anxiety  caused  by  this  state  of  things  that  the  following 
letter  by  the  Queen  to  King  Leopold  was  written : — 

}<i  The  public  attention  has  always  been  so  much  drawn  to  the  magnificent, 
1'iit  disastrous  charge  of  the  Light  Brigade,  that  justice  has  scarcely  been  done 
to  the  splendid  valour  of  our  Heavy  Cavalry  Brigade  at  an  earlier  part  of  the 
same  day.  We  cannot  forbear  from  enriching  our  pages  with  the  description 
of  that  great  feat  of  arms  by  Colonel  G.  B.  Hamley,  a  gentleman  who  combines 
in  himself  '  the  scholar's,  soldier's  eye,  pen,  sword,'  and  who  in  a  few  vivid 
sentences  brings  the  scene,  as  in  a  picture,  before  our  eyes  : — 

'  All  who  had  the  good  fortune  to  look  down  from  the  heights  on  that 
brilliant  spectacle  must  carry  through  life  a  vivid  remembrance  of  it.  The 
plain  and  surrounding  hills,  all  clad  in  sober  green,  formed  an  excellent  back 
ground  for  the  colours  of  the  opposing  masses— the  dark  grey  Russian  column 
sweeping  down  in  multitudinous  superiority  of  numbers  on  the  red-clad  squad 
rons,  that,  hindered  by  the  obstacles  of  the  ground  on  which  they  were  moving, 
advanced  slowly  to  meet  them.  There  was  a  clash  and  fusion,  as  of  wave 
meeting  wave,  when  the  head  of  the  column  encountered  the  leading  squadrons 
of  our  brigade,  all  those  engaged  being  resolved  into  a  crowd  of  individual 
horsemen,  whose  swords  rose  and  fell  and  glanced.  So  for  a  minute  or  two 
they  fought,  the  impetus  of  the  enemy's  dense  column  carrying  it  on  and 
pressing  our  combatants  back  for  a  short  space  ;  till  the  4th  Dragoon  Guards, 
coming  clear  of  a  wall  which  was  between  them  and  the  enemv,  charged  the 
Kussian  flank,  while  the  remaining  regiment  of  the  brigade  went  in,  in  support 
of  those  which  had  first  attacked.  Then — almost,  it  seemed,  in  a  moment  and 
simultaneously — the  whole  Kussian  mass  gaA'e  way  and  fled,  at  speed  and  in 
disorder,  beyond  the  hill,  vanishing  behind  the  slope  some  four  or  five  minutes 
after  they  had  first  swept  over  it.' — Ed  in.  JRcv.  vol.  cxxviii.  p.  408. 


1854  LETTER  BY  THE  QUEEN.  145 

'  Windsor  Castle,  7th  November,  1854. 

'  You  must  forgive  my  letter  being  short,  but  we  are  so 
much  busied  and  occupied  with  the  mails  which  have 
arrived,  and  the  news  from  Sebastopol,  that  I  have  hardly  a 
moment  to  write.  We  have  but  one  thought,  and  so  has  the 
whole  nation,  and  that  is — Sebastopol.  Such  a  time  of  sus 
pense,  anxiety,  and  excitement,  I  never  expected  to  see, 
much  less  to  feel.  The  feeling  against  Kussia  and  the  Em 
peror,  who  has  to  answer  before  Grod  for  the  lives  of  so  many 
thousands,  becomes  stronger  and  stronger  as  each  mail  brings 
the  report  of  fresh  victims  of  the  obstinate  resistance  of  the 
besieged.  Peace  is  further  distant  than  ever,  and  I  fear  the 
war  will  be  a  lengthened,  and  finally  a  general  one.  Austria 
could  help  its  conclusion,  if  she  would  but  act.' 

We. were  still  dependent  exclusively  on  telegrams  for  our 
information  as  to  the  events  of  the  25th  and  26th  of  October. 
These  were  of  the  most  contradictory  kind  ;  but  even  when 
construed  in  the  sense  most  favourable  to  ourselves,  they 
were  calculated  to  inspire  the  utmost  anxiety,  when  coupled 
with  the  authentic  intelligence  from  Lord  Raglan  of  the  low 
point  to  which  our  forces  had  been  reduced  on  the  22nd  of 
that  month.  So  keenly  did  the  Queen  and  Prince  feel  the 
necessity  for  strengthening  the  army,  without  an  hour's  delay, 
that  the  Prince  wrote  the  following  letter  to  Lord  Aberdeen, 
pressing  the  subject  on  his  attention  : — 

'  My  dear  Lord  Aberdeen, — This  morning's  accounts  of 
the  losses  in  the  Crimea,  &c.,  the  want  of  progress  in  the 
siege,  with  an  advancing  adverse  season  and  the  army  of  the 
enemy  increasing,  must  make  every  Englishman  anxious  for  his 
gallant  brothers  in  the  field,  and  the  honour  of  his  country. 

6  The  Government  will  never  be  forgiven,  and  ought 
never  to  be  forgiven,  if  it  did  not  strain  every  nerve  to  avert 
the  calamity  of  seeing  Lord  Raglan  succumb  for  want  of 

TOL.  III.  L 


146  PRINCE   TO  LORD  ABERDEEN  1854 

means.  We  have  sent  out  as  many  troops  as  this  country 
can  provide,  leaving  barely  sufficient  for  the  depots  to  train 
and  drill  the  men,  who  are  to  supply  the  vacancies  caused  by 
the  exigencies  of  the  service  in  the  field  of  the  regiments 
now  out.  But  we  have  gone  on  in  the  beaten  track  of 
routine  without  any  extraordinary  effort.  The  recruiting 
does  not  keep  pace  even  with  the  losses  in  the  East,  much 
less  does  it  give  us  the  augmentation  required,  as  the  recruits 
are  mere  boys,  unfit  for  foreign  service  for  two  years  to 
come.  The  Militia  is  incomplete,  entirely  composed  of 
volunteers,  of  whom  in  some  regiments  more  than  half  are 
not  forthcoming  from  one  time  of  training  to  the  next.  The 
volunteering  for  the  Militia,  instead  of  adding  to  the  avail 
able  force,  has  acted  as  'a  competition  against  the  enlistment 
in  the  army  ! 

'  The  time  is  arrived  for  vigorous  measures,  and  the 
feeling  of  the  country  is  up  to  support  them,  if  Government 
will  bring  them  boldly  forward. 

6  The  measures  immediately  wanted,  according  to  my 
views,  are :  — 

'  Firstly.  The  immediate  completion  of  the  Militia  by 
ballot,  according  to  the  law  of  the  land,  and  the  proper 
inspection  and  organisation  of  the  same. 

'  Secondly.  The  obtaining  the  power  for  the  Crown  to 
accept  the  offers  of  Militia  regiments  to  go  abroad,  and  the 
relief  of  some  of  our  regiments  in  the  Mediterranean  by  these 
Militia  regiments. 

6  Thirdly.  The  sending  on  of  these  relieved  regiments  to 
Lord  Raglan. 

'  Fourthly.  The  obtaining  the  power  for  the  Crown  of 
enlisting  foreigners. 

'  Fifthly.  Immediate  steps  for  the  formation  of  foreign 
legions,  to  be  attached  eventually  to  Lord  Eaglan. 


1854  ON  REINFORCEMENTS  FOR  ARMY.  147 

6  Sixthly.  A  proclamation  inviting  Militiamen  to  volunteer 
into  regiments  of  the  Line. 

6  These  measures  might  be  taken  on  the  responsibility  of 
the  Government,  awaiting  an  Act  of  Indemnity,  or  might  be 
laid  before  Parliament,  convened  for  the  purpose.  Pray 
consider  this  with  your  colleagues. 

'  The  Queen  would  wish  you  to  come  down  here  this 
evening  to  stay  over-night.  The  Duke  of  Newcastle  will  be 
here,  and  we  should  like  to  talk  these  matters  over  with 
you. — Ever  yours  truly. 

'Windsor  Castle,  llth  November,  1854.' 

This  letter  was  read  by  Lord  Aberdeen  to  the  Cabinet  the 
same  day  ;  but  they  were  opposed,  as  we  learn  from  the 
Prince's  Diary,  to  the  proposal  to  raise  a  foreign  legion,  and 
to  the  completion  of  the  Militia  by  ballot.  The  Prince, 
however,  it  was  quickly  shown  by  the  progress  of  events,  had 
formed  a  juster  estimate  of  the  exigencies  of  the  case,  and  of 
the  means  of  meeting  them,  which  were  within  our  reach.' 
Within  a  few  weeks  every  one  of  his  suggestions  had  to  be 
adopted,  and  in  the  short  session  of  Parliament  at  the  end 
of  this  year  measures  were  passed,  but  not  without  vehement 
opposition,  to  authorise  the  raising  of  a  Foreign  Legion,  and 
to  enable  the  Government  to  send  the  Militia  to  the  stations 
in  the  Mediterranean,  and  so  to  make  the  regiments  there 
available  for  service  in  the  Crimea.11 

l-  How  true  the  Prince's  forecast  of  the  necessity  for  these  measures  had 
been,  may  be  judged  from  a  letter  of  Lord  Palmerston's  (then  Premier)  to 
Lord  Panmure  (then  Secretary  for  War),  on  the  10th  of  June,  185o  : — 'We  are 
40,000  men  short  of  the  number  voted  by  Parliament.  .  .  .  Let  us  get  as  manyv 
Germans  and  Swiss  as  we  can ;  let  us  get  men  from  Halifax  ;  let  us  enlist 
Italians  ;  and  let  us  forthwith  increase  our  bounty  at  home  without  raising 
the  standard.  Do  not  let  departmental,  or  official,  or  professional  prejudices 
and  habits  stand  in  our  way.  The  only  answer  to  give  to  objectors  on  such 
grounds  is,  the  thing  must  be  done ;  we  must  have  troops.' — Life  of  Lord 
Palmcrston,  vol.  ii.  p.  98. 

L  2 


148  DESPATCHES  FROfyf  LORD  RAGLAN.  1854 

Despatches  from  Lord  Raglan  down  to  the  28th  of  October, 
with  the  full  story  of  the  memorable  events  of  the  25th 
and  26th,  reached  England  on  the  12th  of  November.  In  a 
private  Despatch  to  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  written  on  the 
former  of  those  days,  Lord  Eaglan  adds  some  interesting 
particulars  :— 

*  You  will  hardly  he  prepared,'  he  writes,  '  for  the  bad  conduct 
of  the  Turkish  troops,  which  showed  no  fight  whatever,  and 
abandoned  works  without  the  attempt  to  defend  them,  which, 
though  paltry  enough,  I  am  assured  were  superior  to  Arab  Tabia 
[at  Silistria],  that  a  handful  of  men  held  so  long  against  all  the 
efforts  of  GortschakofF's  army ;  and  thus  they  lost  us  seven  guns 
of  position,  which  I  thought  would  be  safe  in  their  hands,  at 
least  for  some  hours.  To  contrast  their  conduct  with  that  of 
our  own  people,  it  is  worthy  of  mention  that  in  each  of  the 
redoubts  we  had  one  single  artilleryman  to  show  the  Turks  how 
to  use  our  guns.  This  man  spiked  the  guns  in  the  works,  with 
one  exception,  alone  and  single-handed,  whilst  the  Turks  aban 
doned  their  duty  and  left  him  to  shift  for  himself. 

'  But  you  will  be  much  more  shocked  to  see  the  loss  sustained 
by  our  Light  Cavalry.  This,  indeed,  is  a  heavy  misfortune,  not 
withstanding  the  brilliancy  of  their  conduct,  and  I  feel  it  most 
deeply.' 

Lord  Raglan  then  gives  his  own  account  of  how  the  order 
sent  to  Lord  Lucan  which  led  to  the  catastrophe  came  to  be 
misapprehended — a  subject  afterwards  of  painful  controversy. 
4  Fatal  mistake  ! '  he  concludes.  '  My  only  consolation  is  the 
admirable  conduct  of  the  troops,  which  was  beyond  all  praise.' 

In  another  private  Despatch  Lord  Raglan  tells  the  Duke  of 
Newcastle  that  what  he  wanted  at  the  moment  was  troops  of 
'  the  best  quality.  Ten  thousand  men  would  make  us  com 
fortable.  As  it  is,  the  Divisions  employed  are  overworked,  and 
of  necessity  scattered  over  a  too  extensive  position,  and  we 
are  enabled,  and  that  with  difficulty,  to  give  but  one  British 
Brigade,  the  Highlanders,  for  the  defence  of  Balaclava, 


1854  NECESSITY  FOR  REINFORCEMENTS.  149 

assisted,  however,  by  marines  and  sailors,  and  a  French 
Brigade.' 

The  accounts  from  General  Canrobert  as  to  the  dwindling 
away  of  the  British  force,  on  which  the  stress  of  the  Kussian 
attack  had  hitherto  exclusively  fallen,  had  aroused  the 
apprehensions  of  the  Emperor  of  the  French.  He  deter 
mined  at  once  on  sending  large  reinforcements  to  the  Crimea, 
and  expressed  in  person  to  our  Ambassador  in  Paris  the  hope 
that  England  would  help  him  with  ships,  as  he  was  ready  to 
send  out  every  man  he  had.  He  had  already  employed  every 
disposable  ship,  including  his  own  yacht ;  and  he  wished  the 
steam  fleet  to  be  recalled  from  the  Baltic,  and  employed  for 
purposes  of  transport.  Everything,  he  urged,  must  be  done 
to  avert  the  risk  of  a  misadventure  in  the  East. 

Happily  the  English  Government  were  in  a  position  to  meet 
the  demand  for  ships,  and  on  the  12th  of  November  Sir  James 
Graham  was  able  to  assure  the  Queen,  that  English  transports 
were  already  on  their  way  from  the  Black  Sea  to  Toulon  to 
embark  French  troops,  and  that  an  additional  fleet  of  steam 
transports  would  be  sent  to  Toulon  from  England,  which 
would  embark  8,000  men  there  before  the  10th  of  December. 
In  fact,  provision  had  already  been  made  for  despatching 
6,000  English  and  20,000  French  troops,  to  arrive  in  the 
Crimea  before  Christmas.  Provision  had  also  been  made  for 
housing  and  clothing  the  men  for  the  winter,  through  which 
it  was  now  too  probable  the  siege  would  be  prolonged.  Huts, 
as  Lord  Hardinge  wrote  to  the  Prince,  to  house  20,000  men 
had  been  ordered,  and  in  the  same  letter  (20th  November) 
he  spoke  of  large  stores  of  warm  clothing,  great  coats,  and 
blankets,  as  having  been  '  already  sent  out  and  received.' 
Had  they  reached  their  destination,  they  would,  no  doubt, 
have  been  ample  to  keep  at  bay  the  rigours  of  the  Crimean 
climate.  But  owing  to  a  disastrous  combination  of  circum 
stances  they  did  not  do  so ;  and  for  many  weeks  afterwards 


150         BAD   CONDITION  OF  BESIEGING  FORCE.       1854 

the  English  newspapers  that  reached  the  camp  and  spoke  of 
warm  clothing,  supplies  of  fuel,  extra  articles  of  diet  and 
medical  comforts,  as  having  been  provided  for  the  troops, 
seemed  a  mockery  to  the  poor  fellows,  who,  with  scanty 
rations  and  in  threadbare  and  tattered  clothes,  were  enduring 
the  most  cruel  fatigues,  aggravated  by  all  the  inclemencies 
of  wind  and  rain,  and  snow  and  cold,  upon  the  bleak  heights 
of  the  Tauric  Chersonese. 


CHAPTER   LVIII. 

HAD  any  stimulus  been  needed  to  enforce  the  necessity  for 
sending  reinforcements  with  the  utmost  despatch  to  the 
diminished  ranks  of  the  Allies,  it  would  have  been  supplied 
by  the  tidings  which  reached  France  and  England  by  tele 
graph  on  the  13th  of  November.  An  English  telegram  told 
of  an  attack  made  on  the  5th  by  the  Russians  with  very 
superior  forces  on  the  right  of  the  English  position, —  of  a  battle 
which  raged  with  great  severity  from  before  daybreak  till  late 
in  the  afternoon.  It  spoke  of  the  Russians  as  having  been 
driven  back  with  enormous  loss,  estimated  at  from  8,000  to 
9,000  men,  but  it  also  told  that  the  English  loss  had  been  very 
great.  This  was  confirmed  by  a  telegram  from  General 
Canrobert,  communicated  by  the  French  Grovernment,  which 
admitted  that  '  the  brilliant  feat  of  arms,'  accomplished  by 
6  the  remarkable  solidity  with  which  the  English  army  main 
tained  the  battle,  supported  by  a  portion  of  General  Bosquet's 
division,'  had  not  been  achieved  '  without  some  loss  to  the 
Allies.'  How  great  the  proportions  of  the  struggle  had  been 
was  manifest  from  the  fact,  at  the  same  time  announced,  that 
it  had  been  waged  with  the  whole  Russian  army  at  Sebastopol, 
augmented  by  vast  reinforcements  hurried  up  from  the  Danube 
and  the  Southern  provinces,  and  animated  by  the  presence  of 
the  Grand  Dukes  Nicholas  and  Michael.  Days  were  to  elapse 
before  a  telegram  from  Lord  Raglan  explained  the  full  cost 
at  which  victory  had  been  purchased,1  and  the  first  feeling 

1  The  English  loss  was,  including  officers,  2,573  men  killed  and  wounded  ; 
the  French  loss  was  1,800   in  killed  and  wounded.     The  Russian  loss  has 


152         THE  PRINCE   URGES  REINFORCEMENTS.       1854 

throughout  the  country  was  less  that  of  elation  at  a  great 
victory,  than  of  anxiety  for  the  gallant  remnant  of  the  men  by 
whom  it  had  been  won. 

On  the  day  the  first  telegrams  were  received,  the  Prince's 
Diary  contains  the  following  entry  :  '  Great  excitement  in 
the  country,  universal  outcry  for  reinforcements,  every  avail 
able  man  ought  to  be  sent.'  What  men  were  and  were  not 
available  he  seems  to  have  known  from  the  records  of  the 
strength  of  both  our  warlike  establishments,  which  he  compiled 
for  the  Queen's  use,  and  he  lost  not  an  hour  in  putting  his 
views  before  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  in  the  following  letter:— 

6  My  dear  Duke, — The  last  accounts  of  the  6th  make  us 
naturally  fear  that  Lord  Raglan's  force  must  have  been 
reduced  much  further,  and  every  nerve  ought  to  be  strained 
to  reinforce  him.  I  see  from  the  comparative  statement  of 
the  establishments  at  home  and  abroad,  that  we  have  the 
18th,  51st,  54th,  66th,  71st,  72nd,  80th,  82nd,  90th,  91st 
and  94th  at  home.  Some  of  these  may  be  mere  skeletons ; 
the  90th  is  under  orders  ;  but  is  there  no  other  fit  for  foreign 
service  ?  The  18th,  of  which  a  portion  is  here,  seems  com 
plete,  and  is  most  anxious  to  be  sent  out.  What  can  be  sent 
should  be,  and  without  the  loss  of  a  day !  There  are  also 
600  marines  at  Portsmouth  unemployed,  and  some  of  the 
screw  line-of-battle-ships  might  go  empty  with  the  troops, 
take  the  armament  out  of  the  sailing  ships  at  the  Crimea, 
and  send  these  empty  home.  This  may  not  be  according  to 
dockyard  routine,  but  nevertheless  may  be  feasible.  Pray, 
don't  leave  a  stone  unturned !  Ever  yours  truly. 

'Windsor  Castle,  13th  November,  1854.' 

This  letter  crossed  communications  from  both  Lord  Aber- 

been  variously  computed  by  English  authorities  from  15,000  to  20,000.  The 
Russian  official  reports,  however,  place  it  at  11,959  in  killed,  wounded,  and 
prisoners. 


1 854  LOSSES  AT  INKERMANN.  153 

deen  and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  to  the  Queen,  informing 
Her  Majesty  of  arrangements  which  had  been  made  by  the 
Cabinet  that  day  for  the  relief  of  the  English  forces  in 
the  Crimea.  An  active  correspondence  ensued  between  the 
Duke,  Lord  Hardinge,  and  the  Prince,  as  to  the  strength  of 
the  reinforcements  to  be  sent,  and  the  regiments  from  which 
they  were  to  be  taken.  The  Prince,  remembering  doubtless 
Lord  Raglan's  desire  to  have  the  best  troops,  laid  great  stress 
upon  rilling  up  as  far  as  possible  the  gaps  which  had  been  made 
in  the  regiments  of  the  Guards.  '  Pray,'  he  wrote  to  Lord 
Hardinge  (16th  November),  'let  the  rule  of  your  measure  be, 
to  send  out  everything  that  is  effective  in  the  Guards,  as  that 
is  what  is  really  wanted.  .  .  .  The  battles  fought  must  have 
cost  them  150  each,  leaving  350  in  the  ranks.  If  not  strongly 
reinforced,  they  are  as  battalions  useless.  Whatever  is  done, 
however,  I  repeat  my  hope,  that  an  immediate  decision  will 
be  come  to  and  no  time  lost.' 

The  Prince  might  well  urge  the  utmost  despatch,  for  a 
telegram  received  that  morning  from  Lord  Raglan  bore 
that  our  losses  had  been  '  very  great.'  Three  general  officers, 
Sir  George  Cathcart,  General  Strangways,  and  General  Goldie, 
had  been  killed,  and  another,  General  Torrens,  had  been  dan 
gerously  wounded.  All  were  men  of  the  highest  distinction, 
and  their  loss  was  most  serious.  Amidst  the  prevailing 
anxiety,  the  Prince  continued  to  maintain  his  confidence  in  the 
ultimate  success  of  the  enterprise,  and  did  his  best  to  inspire 
others  with  his  own  feeling.  '  It  is  cheering,'  the  Duke  of 
Newcastle  writes  to  him  (16th  November),  'that  your 
Royal  Highness  keeps  up  your  spirits  in  the  circumstances  of 
the  present  most  anxious  and  trying  times,  and  most  devoutly 
I  trust  that  the  grounds  of  hope — I  dare  not  say  confidence 
— explained  by  your  Royal  Highness,  may  prove  to  be  sure 
and  safe.'  That  the  victory  gained  by  the  Allies  was  a  sub 
stantial  one,  could  not  be  doubted,  and  it  was  hoped  that  the 


154  BATTLE   OF  INKERMANN.  1854 

gigantic  effort  which  had  been  made  against  them  would  not 
readily  be  renewed.  If  we  had  learned  from  the  events  of  the 
day  to  measure  our  enemies'  strength  more  accurately  than 
before,  they  on  the  other  hand  had  learned  that  mere  weight 
of  numbers  was  of  small  account  against  an  adversary,  who 
seemed  to  grow  in  strength  the  heavier  the  odds  against 
him.  By  this  time,  too,  considerable  reinforcements  from 
France  and  England  must  have  reached  the  Crimea,  and  we 
should  be  in  a  better  position  to  meet  any  fresh  assault  on 
our  position. 

Hitherto  the  honour  of  Field-Marshal  had  been  withheld 
from  Lord  Eaglan,  in  the  daily  hope  of  the  fall  of  Sebastopol, 
but  it  was  thought  by  the  Government  that  the  opportunity 
afforded  by  this  last  action,  the  brunt  of  which  had  fallen  on 
the  British  troops,  was  a  .good  one  for  testifying  the  nation's 
recognition  of  his  services.  In  this  view,  communicated  by 
Lord  Aberdeen  to  the  Queen  (17th  November),  Her  Majesty 
next  day  expressed  her  entire  concurrence,  transmitting  to 
him  at  the  same  time  the  following  letter  by  herself  to  Lord 
Raglan,  to  be  forwarded  to  him,  after  being  read  by  Lord 
Aberdeen  and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle : — 

'Windsor  Castle,  18th  November,  1854. 

6  The  Queen  has  received  with  pride  and  joy  the  tele 
graphic  news  of  the  glorious  but,  alas  !  bloody  victory  of  the 
5th.  These  feelings  of  pride  and  satisfaction  are,  however, 
painfully  alloyed  by  the  grievous  news  of  the  loss  of  so  many 
generals,  and  in  particular  of  Sir  Greorge  Cathcart,  who  was 
so  distinguished  and  excellent  an  officer. 

'  We  are  most  thankful  that  Lord  Raglan's  valuable  life 
has  been  spared,  and  the  Queen  trusts  that  he  will  not 
expose  himself  more  than  is  absolutely  necessary.  The 
Queen  cannot  sufficiently  express  her  high  sense  of  the  great 
services  he  has  rendered  and  is  rendering  to  her  and  to  the 


1854  GENERAL    CATHCART.  155 

country,  by  the  very  able  manner  in  which  he  has  led  the 
bravest  troops  that  ever  fought,  troops  whom  it  is  a  pride  to 
her  to  be  able  to  call  her  own. 

6  To  mark  the  Queen's  approbation,  she  wishes  to  confer 
on  Lord  Eaglan  the  Baton  of  Field-Marshal.  It  affords  her 
the  sincerest  gratification  to  confer  it  on  one  who  has  so 
nobly  earned  the  highest  rank  in  the  army,  which  he  so  long 
served  in  under  the  immortal  hero,  who,  she  laments,  could 
not  witness  the  success  of  a  friend  he  so  greatly  esteemed. 

6  Both  the  Prince  and  Queen  are  anxious  to  express  to 
Lord  Raglan  their  unbounded  admiration  of  the  heroic 
conduct  of  the  army,  and  their  sincere  sympathy  in  their 
sufferings  and  privations  so  nobly  borne.' 2 

Another  duty,  which  the  Queen  felt  to  be  no  less  incum 
bent  on  her,  Avas  discharged  the  same  day.  It  was  to  address 
a  letter  of  sympathy  to  the  widow  of  General  Cathcart.  No 
one,  who  had  fallen  on  that  fatal  5th  of  November,  was  so 
deeply  regretted  by  the  Queen  and  Prince  as  this  distin 
guished  officer.  Returning  to  England  from  the  Cape, 
where  he  had  brought  a  difficult  war  to  a  successful  close,  he 
had  gone  out  at  once  to  the  Crimea,  landing  there  in  the 
same  battered  uniform  which  he  had  worn  throughout  the 
Caffre  war.  His  experience,  genius,  and  energy,  had  desig 
nated  him  as  a  man  most  likely  at  no  distant  date  to  have 
the  command  in  chief.  In  fact,  he  had  been  selected  by  the 
Government  as  Lord  Raglan's  successor  in  case  of  emergency, 
and  took  out  with  him  to  the  Crimea  a  dormant  Commission 
for  the  purpose.  This  Commission  he  had  accepted  with 
reluctance.  Carrying  him  as  it  did  over  the  heads  of  his 

2  In  returning  this  letter,  which  the  Queen  sent  to  Lord  Hardinge  to  read, 
he  mentions  that  he  considered  the  time  selected  for  conferring  this  dignity  on 
Lord  Eaglan  to  be  most  opportune.  'It  stands  forth,  as  it  should  do,  by 
itself,  and  conferred  after  such  brilliant  successes,  is  a  compliment  to  that 
army  which  he  so  ably  led.' 


156        QUEEN'S  LETTER   TO  LADY  CATHCART.       1854 

seniors  in  the  service,  he  knew  that  it  must  place  him  in  an 
invidious  position  towards  them.  But  as  he  could  not  regard 
it  otherwise  than  in  the  light  of  a  command  from  his  Sove 
reign,  he  conceived  that  no  choice  was  left  him  but  to  accept 
it.  When  therefore  the  Government  subsequently  decided 
on  recalling  the  Commission,  he  felt  greatly  relieved.  Only 
ten  days  before  he  fell  he  had  placed  it  in  the  hands  of  Lord 
Eaglan,  who,  in  writing  to  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  (27th 
October),  speaks  of  General  Cathcart's  conduct  throughout 
the  affair  as  having  been  '  exactly  what  might  be  expected 
from  a  man  of  his  high  feeling.'3  The,  Times  (18th  Novem 
ber),  in  an  eloquent  commentary  on  the  dearly-bought 
victory  of  Inkermann,  speaks  of  him  as  'that  rare  and 
precious  character  in  the  British  service — a  soldier  devoted 
to  the  science  and  experienced  in  the  practice  of  his  pro 
fession.  There  was  nothing  which  might  not  be  expected 
from  him,  and,  with  such  as  he  to  fall  back  upon,  there  wa*. 
no  fear  that  the  army  would  ever  be  at  a  loss  for  commanders. 
He  now  lies,  one  of  thousands,  slain  by  a  chance  bullet  in  the 
tempest  of  war.' 

Writing  to  bis  widow  (18th  November),  the  Queen  said: 
4  I  can  let  no  one  but  myself  express  to  you  all  my  deep 
feelings  of  heart-felt  sympathy  on  this  sad  occasion,  when 
you  have  been  deprived  of  a  beloved  husband,  and  I  and  the 
country  of  a  most  distinguished  and  excellent  officer.  I  can 
attempt  to  offer  no  consolation  to  you  in  your  present  over 
whelming  affliction,  for  none  but  that  derived  from  reliance 
on  Him  who  never  forsakes  those  who  are  in  distress  can  be 
of  any  avail ;  but  it  may  be  soothing  to  you  to  know,  how 
highly  I  valued  your  lamented  husband,  how  much  con 
fidence  I  placed  in  him,  and  how  very  deeply  and  truly  I 
mourn  his  loss !  Sir  George  died,  as  he  had  lived,  in  the 

3  See  correspondence  quoted  by  Mr.  Kinglake,  The  Invasion  of  the  Crimea, 
vol.  v.  cap.  iii.,  6th  edition. 


1 854  BATTLE   OF  INKERMANN.  157 

* 

service  of  his  Sovereign  and  his  country,  an  example  to  all 
who  follow  him.' 4 

On  the  22nd  of  November,  Lord  Raglan's  Despatches 
reached  England  with  full  details  of  a  battle  'unsurpassed 
in  the  annals  of  war  for  persevering  valour  and  chivalrous 
devotion,'  as  it  was  truly  called  by  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  in 
the  Despatch  to  Lord  Raglan  (27th  November),  which  con 
veyed  the  Queen's  acknowledgments  to  the  army.  Many 
letters  from  the  English  camp  were  forwarded  to  the  Queen 
and  Prince  by  those  to  whom  they  were  addressed,  and  have 
been  carefully  preserved  by  him  among  his  records  of  that 
memorable  day.  As  a  specimen  of  the  stirring  pictures  with 
which  they  abound,  we  give  the  following  extract  from  a 
letter  to  Sir  George  Couper,  by  an  officer  not  actually  en 
gaged  in  the  battle,  but  who,  being  on  outpost  duty  in  a 
redoubt,  saw,  as  he  says,  a  good  deal  of  the  fighting  : — 

'  As  I  was  not  engaged,  I  think  I  may  say  that  the  behaviour 
of  the  men  and  officers  of  the  Guards  was  magnificent.  I  cannot 
imagine  anything  more  magnificent  than  the  scanty  and  unsup 
ported  line  of  skirmishers  (for  they  were  extended  to  fill  the 
space)  driving  that  dense  mass  of  Russians  back  over  the  hill, 
not  once,  but  many  times,  and  with  fresh  foes.  It  was  a  beau 
tiful  sight,  and  one  I  shall  not  forget.  When  our  men's  ammu 
nition  failed,  they  fought  with  the  bayonet,  and  butt- end,  and 
even  with  stones. 

'  In  this  scrambling,  desperate  fight,  every  man  fought  "  for  his 
own  hand,"  like  Hal  o'  the  Wynd,  and  Grenadiers,  Coldstreams, 
and  Fusiliers  got  mixed  together  in  the  melee.  Our  officers 
could  do  little  more  than  join  in  with  their  swords  and  revolvers  ; 
and  our  men,  often  surrounded  by  the  Russians,  fought  their 
way  out  as  best  they  could.  Generalship  there  could  be  none 
whatever.  British  steadiness  and  bulldog  courage  did  it.  The 

4  As  a  mark  of  regard  to  Sir  George  Cathcart's  memory,  the  Queen  ap 
pointed  his  daughter,  the  Hon.  Emily  Cathcart,  Maid  of  Honour  to  Her 
Majesty  in  1855,  and  in  this  capacity  she  continues  to  be  attached  to  the 

Court. 


158  BATTLE   OF  INKERMANN.  185.-:. 

* 

result  was  to  be  seen  next  day  in  the  fearful  mass  of  Russian 
dead,  which  plainly  told  that  it  required  something  more  than 
numbers  to  beat  British  soldiers.  Our  battalion  had  only  about 
350  men  engaged.  They  fired  20,000  rounds,  and  more  than 
half  of  them  were  killed  or  wounded. 

'  It  seems  that  two  of  the  Emperor's  sons  had  just  arrived 
with  a  reinforcement  of  about  40,000  men,  and  joined  the 
Russian  army :  hence  their  desperate  attempt  to  force  through 
our  lines,  and  drive  us  out  of  the  country.5  I  hear  it  said  that 
the  English  loss  is  about  2,000,  and  the  Russian  10,000  men. 
Certainly  there  are  heaps  of  Russian  dead  in  every  direction, 
and  we  have  got  a  great  many  prisoners,  and  a  great  many  of 
their  wounded.  Fancy  the  Russians  throwing  shells  at  our 
fatigue  parties  who  were  burying  their  dead !  I  think  we  ought 
to  take  some  notice  of  their  uncivilised  behaviour.  I  rather 
think  the  Zouaves  will  pay  them  back  in  their  own  coin.  Even 
our  men  are  getting  savage  about  it. 

'  I  can  now  describe  a  Russian  soldier  accurately:  an  individual 
with  a  long  dirt-coloured  great-coat  and  greasy  forage  ctap,  with 
still  more  tallowy  complexion,  "  an  impassive  countenance,  and 
an  eye  gleaming  with  the  mixed  expression  of  fox-like  cunning 
and  cur-ish  abjectness."  When  I  have  been  giving  water  and 
biscuit  to  a  wounded  Russian,  I  have  seen  that  expression.  One 
Russian,  however  (a  better-looking  fellow),  to  whom  I  was 
giving  some  assistance  yesterday,  looked  much  surprised,  and 
raising  himself  on  his  elbow,  kissed  my  hand  repeatedly.  That 
is  not  usual,  though,  for  I  think  they  would  generally  take  the 
opportunity  to  stab  us,  did  we  not  (profiting  by  experience) 
always  take  the  precaution  of  first  removing  all  their  weapons.' 

Many  complaints  were  raised,  upon  authority  that  could 
not  be  impugned,  of  the  barbarous  disregard  here  mentioned 
of  the  usages  of  modern  warfare  shown  by  the  Russians  in 

5  This  tallied  with  authentic  information  of  which  the  Government  had 
been  for  some  time  in  possession,  that  the  Czar  had  sworn  not  to  rest  until  he 
had  driven  the  Allies  on  board  their  ships,  and  that  troops  were  marching  on 
the  Crimea  with  this  object  from  all  directions.  The  English  appeared  to  be 
the  particular  objects  of  the  Czar's  indignation,  and  he  had  ordered  Prince 
Menschikoff  to  attack  them  in  preference  to  the  French,  if  practicable,  and  to 
give  them  no  rest. 


1 854  RUSSIAN  ATROCITIES.  159 

their  treatment  of  wounded  adversaries.  This,  it  seemed, 
had  been  carried  to  an  extreme  pitch  upon  the  day  of 
Inkermann.  On  the  other  side  it  was  retorted,  that  the 
Russians  had  been  exasperated  by  the  barbarities  of  the 
Turkish  irregulars  whom  they  had  encountered  on  the 
Danube,  and  by  instances  of  English  prisoners  having  used 
concealed  revolvers  to  shoot  down  their  captors.  Isolated 
cases  of  such  treachery  may  have  occurred ;  but  a  simpler 
and  more  probable  explanation  can  surely  be  found  in  the 
character  of  the  men  who  formed  the  bulk  of  the  Russian 
army,  hurried  as  they  were  into  battle  after  a  long  and 
exhausting  journey,  frenzied,  as  is  now  known,  with  drink, 
and  fired  with  religious  wrath  against  an  enemy,  who,  they 
were  told,  had  desecrated  their  churches  at  Balaclava  and 
elsewhere  in  the  neighbourhood  by  converting  them  into 
magazines,  barracks,  and  stables.  The  passions  of  the  battle 
field  need  no  incentive,  and  every  officer  must  have  looked 
forward  with  dismay  to  the  bloody  reprisals  which  were  sure  to 
be  provoked  by  the  slaughter  of  the  helpless  and  the  wounded, 
of  which  so  many  ghastly  tales  were  told  throughout  the  Allied 
camp  on  the  morrow  of  that  eventful  day.  In  writing  to  King 
Leopold,  the  Queen  speaks  of  the  reports  which  had  reached 
England  on  the  subject,  with  warm  indignation : — 

'  Windsor  Castle,  28th  November,  1854. 

4  Since  I  wrote  we  have  received  all  the  details  of  the 
bloody  but  glorious  action  of  Inkermann :  60,000  Russians 
defeated  by  8,000  English  and  6,000  French,  is  almost  a 
miracle.  The  Russians  lost  15,000.  They  behaved  with  the 
greatest  barbarity ;  many  of  our  poor  officers  who  were  only 
slightly  wounded  were  brutally  butchered  on  the  ground. 
Several  lived  long  enough  to  say  this. 

'  When  poor  Sir  Gr.  Cathcart  fell,  mortally  wounded,  his 
faithful  and  devoted  military  secretary  (Colonel  Charles 


160  RUSSIAN  ATROCITIES.  1854 

Seymour),  who  had  been  with  him  at  the  Cape,  sprang  from 
his  horse,  and  with  one  arm — he  was  wounded  in  the  other — 
supported  his  dying  chief,  when  three  wretches  came  and 
bayoneted  him.  This  is  monstrous,  and  requisitions  have 
been  sent  by  the  two  Commanders-in-chief  to  Menschikoif 
to  remonstrate.  .  .  .' 

A  few  days  later  the  Queen  recurs  to  the  subject  in  another 
letter  to  the  same  correspondent.  'The  atrocities,'  Her 
Majesty  says,  '  committed  by  the  Eussians  on  the  wounded 
are  too  horrible  to  be  believed.  General  Bentinck,  whom  we 
saw  on  the  29th,  said  that  it  was  a  disagreeable  kind  of  war 
fare,  as  it  was  with  people  who  behaved  like  savages.'  It 
was  upon  full  proof  of  the  truth  of  this,  elicited  in  a  Court 
of  Military  Inquiry,  that  the  remonstrance  mentioned  by 
the  Queen  had  been  addressed  to  Prince  Menschikoff. 
While  repudiating  the  charge  as  generally  true,  Prince 
Menschikoff  admitted  that  individual  instances  of  such 
brutality  '  in  the  heat  of  combat '  might  have  occurred.  He 
then  went  on  to  vindicate  the  conduct  of  his  men  as  having 
been  provoked  by  a  religious  sentiment.  They  had  learned 
that  the  Church  of  St.  Vladimir,  near  Quarantine  Bay,  which 
was  very  holy  in  their  estimation,  had  recently  been  pillaged 
by  the  French ;  and  thence,  as  Mr.  Kinglake  says,  '  he  went 
on  to  conclude  that  if  any  of  the  French  or  the  English  had 
been  despatched  on  the  battle-field  while  lying  disabled  by 
wounds,  they  must  have  owed  their  fate — not  to  the  ruth- 
lessness,  but — plainly  to  the  outraged  piety  of  the  troops  ' 
(Invasion  of  the  Crimea^  vol.  vi.  p.  471).  Well-founded  or 
not,  the  defence  was  at  least  ingenious ;  but,  if  this  were 
a  specimen  of  how  Holy  Eussia  read  the  teachings  of  Christ, 
was  it  for  the  welfare  of  mankind  that  she  should  supersede 
the  rule  of  Islam  ?  6 

6  The  appeals  of  the  Russian  Generals  to  'the  piety'  of  their  men  took  the 
very  reprehensible  form  of  denouncing — as  only  the  self-styled  pious  do — 


iS54  FIRING   ON   THE    WOUNDED.  161 

But  the  defence,  such  as  it  was,  could  not  be  set  up  for 
the  Russian  artillery  fire  being  directed,  as  it  was  upon  more 
than  one  occasion,  on  English  and  French  soldiers,  when 
they  were  engaged  in  bringing  help,  not  to  their  own,  but  to 
the  Russian  wounded.  A  signal  instance  of  this  occurred 
after  the  battle  of  the  Tschernaja,  on  the  16th  of  August,  1855. 
While  the  Russians  were  still  in  the  act  of  retreating  from 
the  battle-field,  the  French  set  actively  to  work  to  collect 
the  Russian  wounded,  and  to  lay  them  out  in  an  open  space 
to  wait  the  arrival  of  the  ambulances.  While  occupied  in 
this  task,  the  Russians,  who  could  see  plainly  how  they  were 
engaged,  suddenly  opened  fire  from  their  guns  upon  them, 
heedless  of  the  destruction  they  were  pouring  upon  their  own 
countrymen.7  The  Times'  correspondent,  who  was  upon  the 
spot,  thus  reports  the  answer  of  a  Russian  soldier,  who  was 
limping  along  with  deep  flesh  wounds  in  both  his  thighs,  to 
the  question  what  he  thought  of  the  behaviour  of  his  friends 
in  firing  among  their  own  wounded  :  '  They  are  accustomed 
to  beat  us  when  we  are  with  them  ;  no  wonder  they  try 
to  ill-treat  us  when  we  are  upon  the  point  of  escaping  from 
their  power ! '  Warfare  conducted  in  a  spirit  at  once  so 
ignoble  and  so  short-sighted  was  foredoomed  to  disaster  and 
defeat. 

As  the  tragic  events  of  this  terrible  war  were  more  and 
more  developed,  more  and  more  keenly  was  it  felt,  that  all  its 
miseries  and  carnage  might  have  been  prevented,  had  the 
German  Powers  gone  heart  and  hand  with  those  of  the  West 


their  adversaries  as  '  godless.'  A  notable  example  of  this  occurred  in  Prince 
Gortschakoffs  order  of  the  day  after  the  unsuccessful  assault  of  the  18th  of 
June,  1855,  upon  Sebastopol,  where  he  called  upon  his  troops  to  'plant  as 
heretofore  their  manly  hearts  against  the  deadly  shots  of  the  godless  enemy.' 

7  The  French,  General  Bernard  wrote  to  Colonel  Phipps,  two  days  after  the 
battle,  'took  in  1,809  of  the  Eussian  woxinded,  but  were  obliged  to  leave 
crowds  out,  because  the  Eussians  opened  a  heavy  fire  on  their  parties  engaged 
in  this  merciful  and  Christianlike  duty.' 

VOL.  III.  M 


1 62  THE  FOUR  POINTS.  1854 

in  telling  Russia  that,  if  she  persisted  in  her  aggression  on 
Turkey,  she  would  have  to  meet  them  also  in  the  field.  In 
the  letter  of  the  28th,  above  quoted,  the  Queen  gives  ex 
pression  to  this  feeling  in  the  following  passage  :— 

4  If  Austria  did  her  duty  she  might  have  prevented 
much  of  this  bloodshed.  Instead  of  this,  her  Generals  do 
nothing  but  chicaner  the  Turks  of  the  Principalities,  and 
the  Government  shuffles  about,  making  advances  and  then 
retreating.  We  shall  see  now  if  she  is  sincere  in  her  last 
propositions.' 

Better  hopes  were  at  this  moment  awakened  that  Austria 
would  act.  A  project  of  a  treaty  with  England  and  France 
had  been  submitted  by  her  to  their  respective  governments, 
and  was  at  this  moment  under  consideration.  In  presenting 
it,  Austria  asked  to  be  informed  what  other  conditions,  beyond 
those  which  were  afterwards  so  well  known  as  the  Four 
Points,8  were  to  be  insisted  on  by  England  and  France.  If 
these  were  approved  by  Austria,  she  would  then  send  an 
Ultimatum  to  St.  Petersburg,  the  rejection  of  which  would 
constitute  a  casus  belli.  The  demand  was  not  unreasonable, 
as  Austria  was  entitled  to  know  how  far  and  to  what  she 

8  The  Four  Points  were  : — 1.  Russian  Protectorate  over  the  Principalities 
of  Wallachia,  Moldavia,  and  Servia  to  cease  ;  the  privileges  granted  by  the 
Sultan  to  these  provinces  to  be  placed  under  a  collective  guarantee  of  the 
Powers.  2.  Navigation  of  the  Danube  at  its  mouths  to  be  freed  from  all 
obstacle,  and  submitted  to  the  application  of  the  principles  established  by  the 
Congress  of  Vienna.  3.  The  Treaty  of  the  13th  of  July,  1841,  to  be  revised  in 
concert  by  all  the  high  contracting  parties  in  the  interest  of  the  balance  of  power 
in  Europe,  and  so  as  to  put  an  end  to  the  preponderance  of  Russia  in  the  Black 
Sea.  4.  Russia  to  give  up  her  claim  to  an  official  protectorate  over  the 
subjects  of  the  Sublime  Porte,  to  whatever  rite  they  may  belong;  and  France, 
Austria,  Great  Britain,  Prussia,  and  Russia  to  assist  mutually  in  obtaining 
from  the  Ottoman  Government  the  confirmation  and  the  observance  of  the 
religious  privileges  of  the  different  Christian  communities,  and  to  turn  to 
account,  in  the  common  interests  of  their  co-religionists,  the  generous  inten 
tions  manifested  by  the  Sultan,  at  the  same  time  avoiding  any  aggression  on 
his  dignity  and  the  independence  of  his  Crown. 


1 854  NEGOTIATIONS   WITH  AUSTRIA.  163 

pledged  herself  by  joining  with  the  Allies.  But,  as  matters 
stood  in  the  Crimea,  it  was  difficult  for  them  to  specify  on 
what  precise  terms  they  would  make  peace.  They  might 
ask  too  much,  or  too  little ;  and  if  they  were  supposed  to  be 
parties  to  the  Austrian  Ultimatum,  this  would  give  them  the 
appearance  of  suing  for  peace,  and  of  being  disheartened  by 
recent  events.  Much  might  depend  on  the  answer  returned 
to  Austria  ;  and  it  is  significant  of  the  value  which  the 
Cabinet  had  by  this  time  learned  to  attach  to  the  judgment 
of  the  Prince  on  questions  of  foreign  policy,  that  Lord 
Clarendon  wrote  to  him  (19th  November),  asking  for  his 
opinion,  previous  to  a  meeting  of  the  Cabinet  next  day  to 
deliberate  on  the  subject. 

Within  a  few  hours  the  following  exhaustive  Memorandum 
by  the  Prince  was  in  Lord  Clarendon's  hands  :— 

'  Windsor  Castle,  19th  November,  1854. 

'  The  difficulties  which  we  meet  with  in  having  to  answer 
the  question  put  by  a  Foreign  Power,  as  to  what  are  the 
ulterior  conditions  on  which  alone  we  should'  be  prepared  to 
make  peace,  are  inherent  to  every  negotiation  for  peace 
whilst  war  is  going  on.  They  are  twofold. 

'  1st.  The  uncertainty  of  the  events  of  the  war,  during 
which  a  State  has  to  pronounce  itself  as  to  its  views,  which 
makes  it  possible  that  its  demands  may  turn  out  to  have 
been  too  high  or  too  low — as,  under  success,  they  could  not 
be  raised  with  good  faith,  and,  without  success,  they  could 
not  be  lowered  with  honour. 

'  2nd.  The  real  cause  and  ultimate  object  of  the  war  itself. 

'  Against  the  first  difficulty  there  is  no  remedy,  except 
stating  the  most  moderate  terms,  and  keeping  open  the  right 
to  advance  others,  if  the  war  proceeds.  This  we  have  done 
in  the  Notes  exchanged  with  Austria  in  August  last,  and  she 

M    2 


1 64  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1854 

has  acknowledged  the  principle  in  her  answer,  claiming  its 
benefit  for  herself. 

'  With  regard  to  the  second,  it  generally  so  happens  that 
the  ostensible  cause  of  a  war  does  not  embrace  the  ivhole  or 
even  the  strongest  motives  which  impel  States  to  resort  to 
that  last  extremity. 

'  A  peace,  to  be  satisfactory  and  lasting,  must  satisfy  all 
the  objects  for  which  the  war  has  been  undertaken,  and  it 
becomes  necessary  therefore  fully  and  honestly  to  consider 
what  these  were. 

4  In  the  present  instance  I  take  them  to  have  been,  the 
necessity  which  Europe  (or  at  least  England  and  France  on 
its  behalf)  found  itself  under,  to  put  a  term  at  last  to  a 
policy  which  threatened  the  existence  of  the  Ottoman  Empire, 
and  by  making  all  the  countries  bordering  on  the  Black  Sea 
dependencies  of  Russia,  seriously  to  endanger  the  balance  of 
power, — a  policy,  of  which  the  particular  steps  which  led  to 
the  present  war  can  be  considered  only  as  symptoms.  The 
question  naturally  arises, — By  what  means  was  that  policy 
to  be  carried  out  ? 

'  The  means  employed  are  : 

'  1st.  The  identity  of  religion  between  Russia  and  the 
Greek  subjects  of  the  Porte — the  assumption  of  a  spiritual 
supremacy  by  the  Emperors  of  Russia  over  the  whole  Greek 
Church,  and,  based  upon  this,  a  political  protectorate  over 
the  Christians  in  Turkey,  supported  by  different  treaties 
obtained  by  violence,  and  purposely  ambiguously  worded. 

'  2nd.  The  exclusion  of  all  European  commerce  from  the 
Black  Sea,  by  the  shutting  up  of  the  mouths  of  the  Danube. 

*  3rd.  The  erection  of  a  stupendous  military  and  naval 
establishment  at  Sebastopol,  containing  a  fleet,  which,  having 
no  commerce  to  protect  and  no  enemy  to  guard  against,  can 
only  serve  purposes  of  aggression. 

'  4th.  The  gradual  transfer  of  the  allegiance  of  the  provinces 


1854  FOR    THE   CABINET.  165 

separating  Turkey  from  Eussia  from  the  former  to  herself, 
partly  by  treaty  stipulations,  partly  by  violent  occupations, 
by  bribery  and  any  other  surreptitious  means. 

c  5th.  The  subjection  of  the  mountain  tribes  of  the  Cau 
casus  under  pretence  of  maintaining  order. 

'  If  these  are  the  means  by  which  Russia  hopes  to  succeed 
in  a  policy  detrimental  to  Europe,  no  peace  can  be  admitted 
by  us  which  does  not  give  the  fullest  guarantees  against 
them. 

4  These  guarantees  are,  in  my  opinion,  all  contained  in  the 
well-known  "  Four  Points."  We  have,  therefore,  not  to  ask 
at  present  anything  beyond  the  "  Four  Points,"  but  rather  to 
define  more  fully  the  precise  meaning  we  attach  to  their 
elastic  terms.  In  doing  this,  care  should  be  taken  not  to 
fall  short  of  any  of  the  expectations  which  the  Government 
led  Parliament  to  entertain,  when  Lord  John  Russell  stated 
on  its  behalf  to  the  House  of  Commons  the  objects  of  the  war. 
I  find  that  the  impossibility  of  allowing  Russia  to  retain  her 
threatening  armaments  in  the  Crimea  was  one  of  the  most 

O 

prominent,  and  the  one  which  gave  most  satisfaction  to  the 
House.  Now  that  vast  treasure,  and  the  best  English  blood, 
have  been  profusely  expended  towards  obtaining  that  object, 
the  nation  has  a  right  to  expect  that  any  peace  contem 
plated  by  Government  should  fully  and  completely  realise  it. 
'  If,  therefore,  our  present  demands  consist  strictly  in  a 
closer  definition  and  more  extensive  application  of  the 
principles  contained  in  the  "  Four  Points  "  in  the  sense  above 
understood,  Parliament  ought  to  be  satisfied,  and  Austria  can 
derive  from  them  no  pretext  to  fly  from  her  engagements 
towards  us.' 

With  this  document  before  them  to  guide  their  delibera 
tions,  the  decision  of  the  Cabinet  was  made  comparatively 
easy.  The  subject,  however,  engaged  their  consideration 


1 66  REPLY  TO  AUSTRIAN  INQUIRIES.  1854 

on  two  .consecutive  days,  and   on   the  21st  Lord  Aberdeen 
wrote  to  the  Queen  : — 

*  The  Cabinet  yesterday  and  to-day  was  occupied  in  the  consi 
deration  of  the  answer  to  be  given  to  the  Despatch  of  Count 
Buol  to  Count  Colloredo,  requesting  explanations  from  the  Allied 
Powers  previous  to  the  signature  of  the  proposed  Treaty  between 
them  and  Austria.  The  answer  contained  in  a  Despatch  to  Lord 
Westmoreland  has  been  mainly  founded  upon  an  excellent  Memo 
randum  by  the  Prince  to  Lord  Clarendon,  which  appears  to 
embrace  the  whole  subject,  and  to  take  a  perfectly  just  view  of 
the  position  of  the  different  parties.' 

Some  misgivings  were  entertained  by  Lord  Clarendon  and 
others  of  the  Ministry,  that  Austria,  in  asking  for  the  expla 
nations  she  did,  was  seeking  a  pretext  for  extricating  herself 
from  her  subsisting  engagements  to  the  Allies.  This  view 
was  not,  however,  shared  by  the  Queen  or  Prince,  and  in 
returning  to  Lord  Clarendon  the  draft  of  his  Despatch,  Her 
Majesty  wrote  :  '  It  contains  an  honest  exposition  of  our 
position  and  views,  which  is  always  the  best,  where  some 
double  dealing  is  suspected  on  the  part  of  those  with  whom 
we  treat.  The  Queen  must  confess,  however,  that  the  steps 
taken  by  Austria,  and  the  proposals  now  made  by  her,  admit 
of  the  more  natural  interpretation  of  being  honestly  meant ; 
that  is  to  say,  the  Queen  fully  believes,  that  Austria  would 
still  prefer  to  see  Eussia  entering  into  negotiations  for  peace 
to  having  to  fight  her ;  but  she  evidently  cannot  stand  the 
strain  of  the  suspense  much  longer,  and  the  Treaty  and  Notes 
will  make  it  easy  for  her  to  go  to  war,  if  necessary,  and  at 
the  same  time  they  bring  the  term  for  the  decision  as  near 
as  six  weeks  from  hence.' 

It  was  the  more  necessary  for  the  Allied  Powers  to  satisfy 
Austria  that  our  terms  of  peace  were  reasonable,  as  Russia 
by  this  time  had  intimated  her  intention  to  accept  the  Four 
Points  as  the  basis  of  negotiation.  This  was  a  step  calculated 


1 854  GREAT  STORM  IX  CRIMEA.  167 

to  perplex  Austria,  and  to  arrest  her  intention  of  binding 
herself  to  overt  acts  against  Russia.  It  probably  had  no 
other  purpose,  and  the  conduct  of  Russia  at  a  later  stage 
fully  justified  this  suspicion.  But  in  any  case  this  design, 
if  it  existed,  was  baffled  by  the  frank  explanations  given  by 
the  Allied  Powers  to  Austria,  which  showed  that  their  views 
were  in  entire  accord  with  the  conditions  which  she  had  herself 
previously  approved,  and  accordingly  she  executed  the  Treaty 
with  France  and  England  on  the  2nd  of  December. 

While  the  alarm  inspired  by  the  full  accounts  of  the 
Battle  of  Inkermann  was  still  fresh,  tidings  were  received 
(26th  November)  of  a  hurricane  which  had  ravaged  the  coasts 
of  the  Crimea  on  the  14th  of  that  month,  and  sent  to  the 
bottom  of  the  sea  vast  stores  of  ammunition,  and  the  bulk  of 
the  warm  clothing  which  had  been  prepared  during  the 
summer  for  the  use  of  our  troops.  Two  French  ships  of  the 
line  and  twenty-four  of  our  transports  had  been  wrecked  in 
the  gale;  and  the  elements  themselves  seemed 'to  have  ex 
pended  their  worst  fury  in  order  to  increase  the  difficulties, 
already  sufficiently  great,  with  which  the  besieging  armies 
had  to  contend.9  Not  an  hour  was  lost  in  despatching  agents 
to  Glasgow,  Nottingham,  and  elsewhere,  to  purchase  fresh 
supplies  of  warm  clothing  at  any  cost :  and  it  was  no  small 
alleviation  of  the  anxiety  of  the  Government,  that  the  same 
mail  which  brought  the  details  of  the  disaster  brought  news 
of  the  arrival  at  Balaclava  of  The  Jura  transport,  with  a 
large  supply  of  blankets  and  clothing,  and  also  of  a  merchant 
ship  with  the  latter  commodity  for  sale  OH,  speculation.10 

The  Prince's  Diary  (26th  November)  contains  the    brief 

9  In  the  Prince  alone,  a  magnificent  steamship  of  2,700  tons,  which  had 
fortunately  landed  the  46th  Regiment  at  Balaclava  a  few  days  before,  a  cargo 
valued  at  500,000?.  was  lost.     In  the  Resolute,  another  of  the  vessels  wrecked, 
were  900  tons  of  powder. 

10  Letter  from  Sir  Edmund  Lyons  to  Sir  James  Graham,  18th  November, 
1854. 


168  PRINCE'S    VIEWS  AS   TO  1854 

entry  :  c  The  army  must  be  increased.'  With  him  '  the  first 
lings  of  his  thought '  in  an  emergency  were  also  '  the 
firstlings  of  his  hand,'  and  he  despatched  to  Mr.  Sidney 
Herbert  (then  Secretary  at  War)  the  following  suggestions 
for  effecting  this  object,  and  at  the  same  time  securing  a 
permanent  reserve  force  within  easy  reach  of  the  Commander- 
in-chief : — 

6  My  dear  Mr.  Herbert, —  ....  The  step  which  will  now 
have  to  be  taken  will  be  the  decisive  one  for  the  rest  of  the 
war,  and  I  hope  it  will  not  be  taken  without  the  maturest 
deliberation. 

'  Our  last  step  of  organisation,  bringing  each  regiment  up 
to  twelve  companies,  was  the  right  one,  as  an  organisation 
adapted  either  for  peace  or  war.  It  has  failed,  however,  in 
supplying  with  sufficient  quickness  the  tremendous  expen 
diture  of  men  in  the  Crimea.  It  has  failed  particularly  in 
supplying  the  army  of  Lord  Raglan,  on  account  of  the 
distance  of  3,000  miles  between  the  basis  and  the  field  of 
battle.  A  mere  reference  home  in  writing  and  its  answer 
require  six  weeks,  and  the  time  for  providing  troops  in 
creases  it  to  two  months  under  the  most  favourable  circum 
stances,  during  which  the  whole  state  of  things  may  be 
altered.  We  know  from  experience  that  communications 
by  letter  from  Lord  Raglan  supply  but  scanty  informa 
tion. 

'  What  is  imperatively  demanded,  therefore,  is  an  interme 
diate  depot  upon  which  Lord  Raglan  would  draw  at  pleasure, 
and  which  would  be  kept  supplied  from  home. 

4  Adapting  our  present  organisation  to  this  want,  for  every 
four  companies  in  depot  at  home  there  should  be  an  equal 
depot  established  at  Malta — these  depots  to  be  united  in 
provisional  battalions  like  the  provisional  battalions  at  home. 
They  would  form  at  the  same  time  the  whole  garrison,  and 


i854     REINFORCEMENTS  FOR   CRIMEAN  ARMY.        169 

would  require  all  the  accommodation  at  that  place,  setting 
free  all  the  regiments  now  there. 

'  If  Malta  would  not  hold  sufficient  depots,  the  system 
might  be  further  extended  to  Gibraltar.  Our  present  depots 
might  go  out  at  once,  and  fresh  ones  be  formed  at  home. 
We  should  then  have — 

1st.  Depots  of  four  companies  in  England  for  recruiting 
and  instruction. 

2nd.  Depots  at  Malta  as  a  reserve  to  the  army  in  the 
field,  and  for  further  training. 

3rd.  Battalions  of  eight  companies  in  the  field  always 
kept  complete. 

'  The  invalids  might  join  the  reserves,  and  a  great  deal  of 
shipping  would  thus  be  saved. 

4  Napoleon  always  had  reserves  for  his  army  between  it  and 
the  home  depots  ;  without  them,  in  fact,  it  cannot  be  carried 
on.  Moreover,  what  I  lay  the  greatest  stress  upon,  Lord 
Kaglan  would  have  his  reserves  within  command,  and  the 
knowledge  of  what  he  lias,  and  what  he  has  to  expect,  will 
be  his  safest  guide  in  regulating  his  operations. 

'  I  recommend  this  to  the  most  serious  consideration  of  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle,  to  whom  you  will  be  good  enough  to 
communicate  this  letter.  I  shall  be  at  Buckingham  Palace 
to-morrow,  where  I  shall  be  very  glad  to  meet  you  with  the 
Duke  and  Lord  Hardinge  to  talk  this  matter  over.  Will  you 
kindly  appoint  them  ? 

'  Windsor  Castle,  28th  November,  1854. 

Next  day  the  meeting  which  the  Prince  had  requested  took 
place.  His  plan  was  submitted  to  the  Cabinet  by  the  Duke 
of  Newcastle  with  the  approval  of  Lord  Hardinge  and  Mr. 
Sidney  Herbert,  and  on  the  1  st  of  December  Lord  Aberdeen 
informed  the  Queen  that  it  had  been  adopted.  An  army  of 
reserve  amounting  to  16,000  men  was  to  be  formed  at  Malta, 


1 70  EFFORTS  FOR  RELIEF  1854 

and  one  -half  of  this  force,  it  was  hoped,  would  soon  be  com 
pleted.  The  same  letter  conveyed  the  welcome  intelligence 
that  a  contract  had  been  sanctioned  for  a  railroad  from  Bala 
clava  to  the  camp  before  Sebastopol,  '  principally  in  order  to 
spare  the  incredible  labour  necessary  to  drag  the  artillery 
from  the  coast,  which  had  hitherto  been  performed  by  the 
seamen  of  the  fleet.'  A  contract  was  also  entered  into  for 
laying  a  telegraphic  cable  at  the  joint  expense  of  France 
and  England,  between  Cape  Kalerga,  near  Varna,  and  the 
Monastery  of  St.  George,  between  Balaclava  and  Kamiesch 
Bay.11 

A  few  days  later  brought  further  details  of  the  storm  of 
the  14th,  and  of  the  measures  which  had  been  taken  to 
repair  the  losses  by  it.  Reinforcements  were  arriving,  and 
the  extreme  right  of  our  position  was  being  strengthened 
against  the  renewal  of  such  attacks  as  those  of  the  26th  of 
October  and  the  5th  of  November.  Sir  Edmund  Lyons  wrote 
to  Sir  James  Graham  that  he  found  '  a  hopeful  as  well  as  a 
determined  spirit  prevailing  in  both  armies.  They  all  feel,' 
he  added,  4  and  with  reason,  that  hitherto  everything  has 
been  honourable  and  glorious  for  the  arms  of  England  and 
France.  They  have  confidence  in  the  support  of  the  two 
Governments  and  the  two  countries,  and  are  resolved  to 
deserve  that  support,  and,  through  the  blessing  of  God  on  a 
good  cause,  to  conquer.' 

Sir  Edmund  Lyons  was  not  a  man  to  despond  in  diffi 
culties  ;  but  letters  from  officers  in  less  responsible  positions 

11  This  cable,  400  miles  in  length,  was  connected  with  a  telegraph  from 
Varna  to  Eustchtik,  from  which  place  a  complete  system  of  communication 
with  England  already  existed.  In  this  way  direct  and  secret  communication 
was  established  between  the  Offices  of  the  War  Department  in  England  and 
Paris  and  the  head-quarters  of  the  English  and  French  Commanders-in-chief. 
The  first  telegram  transmitted  was  on  the  4th  of  May,  18oo.  Hitherto  the 
first  news  of  what  was  passing  in  the  Crimea  had  reached  us  through  St. 
Petersburg.  From  this  time  St.  Petersburg  got  its  earliest  news  through 
London  and  Paris. 


1 854  OF  BESIEGING  FORCE.  171 

confirmed  his  report  as  to  the  undaunted  spirit  of  the  troops, 
while  making  no  secret  of  the  terrible  strain  upon  their 
endurance,  in  the  absence  of  almost  everything  essential  to 
keep  them  from  sinking  from  exhaustion  under  the  combined 
assaults  of  cold,  and  wet,  and  hunger,  and  fatigue. 


172 


CHAPTER    LIX. 

BY  those  who,  like  the  Prince,  were  able  to  look  to  far-off 
results  through  the  distractions  of  present  difficulties,  the 
issues  involved  in  the  great  struggle  of  Inkermann  were  not 
hard  to  divine.  The  dauntless  courage  of  a  comparative 
handful  of  Englishmen  had  rolled  back  the  overwhelming 
force  which  the  Czar  had  hoped  would  have  swept  them  into 
ruin.  A  great  calamity  had  been  averted.  But  while  the 
events  of  that  day  showed  too  palpably  how  perilous  was  the 
position  in  which  we  stood,  they  aleo  showed  no  less  clearly, 
that  we  must  fight  out  to  the  uttermost  the  contest  in  which 
we  were  engaged.  The  fall  of  Sebastopol  could  alone  save 
the  Allied  armies,  and  that  object  must  be  attained,  cost  what 
it  might.  To  re-embark  in  face  of  a  force  so  powerful  as  that 
of  the  Russians  was  impossible.  Infinite  shame,  as  well  as 
infinite  loss,  must  have  followed  on  the  attempt. 

But,  if  England  and  France  did  their  duty  by  the  soldiers 
who  had  thus  far  nobly  maintained  the  national  honour,  had 
we,  in  truth,  any  reason  for  apprehension  ?  The  same  valour 
which  had  stood  the  shock  of  Inkermann  might  be  relied  on 
to  hold  its  grasp  on  the  plateau  between  Sebastopol  and  the 
sea.  It  had  only  to  do  so  until  England  and  France  brought 
into  play  the  advantages  secured  to  them  by  the  command  of 
the  sea,  and  success  must  follow.  For  the  resources  of  Russia, 
however  vast,  were  being  expended  at  a  rate,  and  with  a 
rapidity,  which  must  lead,  at  no  very  distant  period,  to  ex 
haustion,  separated  as  they  were  from  the  theatre  of  war  by 


1 854  FIXE   SPIRIT  IN  THE  ARMY.  173 

immense  tracts  of  country,  without  good  or  numerous  road* 
or  sufficient  means  of  transport.  In  the  failure,  therefore,  of 
the  Russian  attack  on  Inkermann,  the  fate  of  Sebastopol  was 
in  effect  decided.  However  others  might  waver — and  men 
of  high  position  did  waver — the  Prince  never  for  a  moment 
faltered  in  this  conviction.  The  beleaguered  city  must  fall. 
There  could  be  no  going  back  from  the  task  which  we  had 
imposed  upon  ourselves. 

The  spirit  of  the  army,  tried  as  it  had  already  been,  and 
speedily  to  be  doomed  to  still  heavier  trial,  was  excellent. 
'  Our  position  here.' the  same  officer  whose  letter  we  have  quoted 
above,  p.  157,  writes  from  the  camp  on  the  16th  of  December, 
'is  very  critical,  and  we  are  well  aware  of  the  difficulties  we 
are  likely  to  have  to  contend  against ;  still  we  feel  that, 
though  inferior  in  numbers,  we  are  more  than  a  match  for 
the  enemy,  and  the  idea  of  the  possibility  of  being  beaten  by 
them  never  for  one  instant  occurs  to  any  man  amongst  us.' 
Again,  an  officer  of  the  Guards  writes  to  Colonel  Phipps  on 
the  18th  :  '  I  wish  words  could  express  the  cool,  determined, 
unflinching  bravery  of  our  men.  At  Inkermann,  every  minute 
one  expected  they  must  give  way.  Had  they  done  so  the 
day  was  lost ;  but  no,  they  retired,  when  forced  back  by 
overwhelming  numbers,  foot  by  foot,  not  a  man  hanging 
back ;  and  the  cheer  and  dash  they  made  on  receiving  rein 
forcements  were  glorious.  One  felt  inclined  to  hug  them  all, 
when  the  action  ivas  over?  With  such  men  what  was  not  to 
be  hoped  for  ?  For  such  men  what  would  not  their  country 
men  at  home  be  prepared  to  do  ? 

Had  the  arrangements  for  the  care  of  the  army  been  as 
complete  and  efficient  as  they  proved  to  be  the  reverse, 
public  feeling  would  still  have  found  it  necessary  for  its  own 
satisfaction  to  show  active  sympathy  with  its  struggles  and 
inevitable  sufferings.  Accordingly,  early  in  October,  a  letter 
from  Sir  E.  Peel  to  The  Times  led  to  a  subscription  being 


174  PATRIOTIC  FUND  ESTABLISHED.  1854 

opened  for  the  sick  and  wounded.  In  less  than  a  fortnight  a 
sum  of  about  1 5,000£.  was  received  at  The  Times'  office,  and 
the  proprietors  of  that  journal  sent  out  a  Commissioner  to 
administer  this  fund  in  the  shape  of  medicines  and  necessary 
comforts.  Incalculable  good  resulted  from  this  timely  aid, 
and  so  thoroughly  was  this  felt  that,  when  at  a  later  date  the 
subscription  was  reopened,  the  amount  originally  subscribed 
was  raised  to  25,462Z.  On  the  13th  of  October,  a  Royal 
Commission,  at  the  head  of  which  was  the  Prince,  was  issued 
for  the  purpose  of  establishing  fa  fund  for  relief  of  the 
orphans  and  widows  of  soldiers,  sailors,  and  marines  who 
may  fall  in  the  present  war.'  This  fund,  known  as  the 
Patriotic  Fund,  before  the  end  of  the  year  exceeded  half  a 
million,  and  ultimately  rose  to  more  than  a  million  and  a 
quarter.  Subscriptions  were  also  raised  for  sending  addi 
tional  chaplains  to  the  seat  of  war,  to  aid  the  overtasked 
military  chaplains  there. 

A  staff  of  female  hospital  nurses  was  at  the  same  time 
organised.  Miss  Florence  Nightingale,  a  lady  pre-eminently 
fitted  for  the  task  by  her  great  natural  gifts  for  organisation, 
and  by  invaluable  experience  gained  at  the  Hospital  of 
Kaiserswerth  in  Prussia  and  elsewhere  abroad,  at  the  re 
quest  of  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert  undertook  the  direction  of 
this  devoted  band,  and,  accompanied  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Brace- 
bridge  and  his  wife,  proceeded  with  thirty-seven  lady  nurses 
to  Constantinople.  They  reached  Scutari  on  the  5th  of 
November,  in  time  to  receive  the  soldiers  who  had  been 
wounded  at  the  battle  of  Balaclava.  On  the  arrival  of  Miss 
Nightingale,  the  great  hospital  at  Scutari,  where  all  had  up 
to  this  time  been  chaos  and  discomfort,  was  reduced  to 
order ;  and  those  tender  lenitives,  which  only  woman's 
thought  and  woman's  sympathy  can  bring  to  the  sick  man's 
couch,  were  applied  to  solace  and  alleviate  the  agonies  of 
pain,  or  the  torture  of  fever  and  prostration.  The  introduc- 


1 854  MISS  FLORENCE  NIGHTINGALE.  175 

tion  of  such  an  addition  to  the  staff  of  a  military  hospital 
had  been  deprecated  by  the  worshippers  of  official  routine — 
with  such  men  nothing  new  can  be  good — but  so  completely 
did  experience  belie  their  fears,  that  a  further  staff  of  fifty 
trained  female  nurses  was  soon  afterwards  sent  from  England, 
to  aid  in  the  work  which  Miss  Nightingale  and  her  assistants 
had  begun.  In  the  records  of  the  war,  the  services  of  these 
admirable  women  occupy  a  page  to  which  their  countrymen 
must  always  turn  with  pride. 

While  public  munificence  was  busy  doing  what  it  might 
for  the  well-being  and  comfort  of  the  army,  individual  acts 
of  kindness  were  not  wanting  in  every  quarter.  It  was  but- 
little,  after  all,  that  could  be  done,  but  everything  helped  to 
bring  the  animating  assurance  of  sympathy,  where  in  truth  it 
was  sorely  needed.  The  Queen  herself,  the  elder  Princesses, 
and  Her  Majesty's  ladies,  made  woollen  comforters,  mittens, 
and  other  warm  coverings,  which  were  sent  out  and  distri 
buted  among  the  soldiers.  Thousands  of  gentle  hands 
throughout  the  country  worked  long  hours  unweariedly  for 
the  same  praiseworthy  purpose.  On  his  part,  the  Prince  sent 
fur  great  coats  to  all  his  brother  officers  of  the  Brigade  of 
Gruards,  and  a  liberal  supply  of  tobacco  to  their  men,  and  also 
to  the  men  of  the  two  Battalions  of  Rifles,  and  of  the  llth 
Hussars. 

'  You  may  be  quite  sure,'  wrote  Colonel  Upton  (22nd  Decem 
ber),  when  acknowledging  the  gift  to  Colonel  Phipps,  '  it  will  be 
duly  appreciated,  especially  coming  from  the  quarter  it  does. 
Nothing  can  be  more  pleasant  to  these  poor  fellows,  and  more 
convincing  in  its  effect,  than  the  thought  that  his  Royal  High 
ness  has  been  mindful  of  their  creature  comforts  and  wants 
during  their  absence  on  this  service.  No  one  but  those  who  have 
lived  the  life  very  recently,  can  know  how  the  hearts  of  those 
who  have  been  enduring  toil,  and  fatigue,  and  exposure,  are 
gladdened  and  nerved  by  the  knowledge  that  their  Queen,  as 
well  as  his  Royal  Highness,  had  been  heard  expressing  their 


1 76  SUFFERINGS   OF  THE  ARMY.  1854 

sympathy  and  warm  interest  in  their  sufferings,  and  admiration 
of  all  that  has  been  done  by  them.  It  is  a  sort  of  exultation  that 
makes  out  of  every  one  two  at  least.' 

How  great  were  the  sympathy  and  how  warm  the  interest 
of  both   the   Queen   and  Prince,   it   would    be    impossible 
to  overstate.      The  accounts  of  the    privations   which    the 
army  in  the  Crimea  was  now  suffering  were  heart-rending. 
The  siege  operations  were  practically  at  a  standstill.     The 
camp  was  drenched  with  rain.     The  men,  reduced  in  numbers 
and  enfeebled  by  want  of  food,  and   rest,  and  shelter,  were 
tasked  to  the  utmost  limit  of  their  strength  to  hold  their 
own  in  the  trenches.     The  Commissariat  had  broken  down 
for   want  of  the  means  of  transport.      With  abundance   of 
provisions  a  few  miles  off  at  Balaclava,  men  and  horses  were 
perishing  for  lack  of  food.     The   horses,  that  had  carried 
their  riders  so  magnificently  into  the  enemy's  lines  on  the 
memorable  25th  of  October,  were  either  rotting  in  a  sea  of  mud, 
or  being  wasted  away  in  doing  the  ignoble  work  of  sumpter 
mules  ;  while    the    survivors  of  Inkermann,  after  spending 
a  day  and  night  in   the  trenches,  were  often  compelled  to 
wade   through   mire  to  Balaclava  to  bring  up  the  rations, 
which    the    Commissariat  were  without  the   means  of  for 
warding  to  the  front.     All  the  evils,  in  short,  were  threaten 
ing    the   army,   which   want  of   foresight    and    of  effective 
organisation  for  the  exigencies   of  a  lengthened  campaign 
could  not  fail  to  inflict.     Who   were    to    blame?    was   the 
question  in  every  mouth.      It   was    by  no    means    easy  to 
find  an  answer  to  a    question,  which  only  too  many  were 
ready  to  discuss ;  but  to  find  and  to  apply  the  remedy  was 
the   one  thing   needful,  and    to  this  the  thoughts  of  both 
the  Queen  and  Prince  were  most  anxiously  turned. 

The  reports  from  Lord  Raglan  as  to  the  condition  of  the 
army  were  most  meagre ;  his  letters  being  silent  as  to  the 
sufferings,  with  accounts  of  which  private  letters,  as  well 


1854    DUE    TO  DEFECTS  OF  MILITARY  SYSTEM.     177 

as  newspapers,  were  teeming.  From  them  it  was  impossible 
to  learn  what  was  wanted  for  the  supplies  and  comfort  of 
the  troops,  and  the  Government  could,  therefore,  only  act 
upon  conjecture,  and  send  out  whatever  they  thought  was 
likely  to  be  required.  Scarcely  less  meagre  were  the  official 
returns,  which  were  barren  of  the  most  essential  information 
as  to  the  numbers  of  the  army  available  and  not  available 
for  action,  the  provision  made  for  their  shelter,  clothing, 
and  food,  the  supply  of  horses,  the  means  of  transport,  all 
those  details,  in  short,  in  the  absence  of  which  the  Grovern 
ment  could  neither  know  on  what  force  they  had  to  depend, 
nor  how  that  force  was  to  be  maintained  in  a  state  of  effi 
ciency.  It  seems  to  have  struck  the  Prince,  and  the  Prince 
alone,  that,  until  this  radical  defect  was  cured,  it  would  be 
impossible  to  abate  the  evils  by  which  the  conduct  of  the 
campaign  was  now  so  seriously  hampered.  Accordingly, 
on  the  31st  of  December,  he  called  the  attention  of  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle  to  the  subject  by  letter  : — 

6  My  dear  Duke,'  he  wrote,  '  The  want  of  system  and  order 
in  our  army  before  Sebastopol,  entailing,  as  it  does,  much 
confusion  and  positive  suffering  to  our  gallant  troops,  as 
well  as  painful  uncertainty  to  their  well-wishers  at  home, 
has,  as  you  know,  much  distressed  and  occupied  me.  I 
know  but  of  one  remedy,  where  people  are  not  born  with 
the  instinct  of  method,  and  are  prevented  by  want  of  time 
or  inclination  from  writing,  and  that  is,  an  efficient  and 
detailed  form  of  Returns  to  be  filled  up  by  them.  These 
Eeturns  should  be  framed  in  such  a  manner  that  the  mere 
act  of  filling  them  up  shall  compel  attention  to  all  the  points 
which  ought  to  be  brought  under  the  wholesome  influence 
of  method,  and  on  which  the  Home  authorities  imperatively 
require  the  amplest  information.' 

The  Prince  accompanied  his  letter  with  a  complete  scheme 
of  tabulated  Returns  drawn  up  by  himself, — in  which  he  had 

YOL.  III.  N 


1 78       PRINCE'S  PLAN  FOR    WEEKLY  REPORTS      1855 

aimed  at  combining  completeness  of  information  on  all  im 
portant  points  with  such  brevity  as  could  not  reasonably  deter 
those  whose  duty  it  was  to  fill  them  up  from  the  labour  of 
doing  so.  To  these  was  added  a  full  explanatory  Memo 
randum,  and  the  Prince  asked  to  be  put  in  communication 
with  the  person  whom  the  Duke  might  charge  with  the  task  of 
settling  the  form  of  the  Returns.  With  such  Returns  before 
them,  the  Government  would  be  kept  fully  informed  as  to  the 
state  of  the  army  engaged  at  Sebastopol  from  week  to  week, 
its  guns,  horses,  equipments,  and  stores,  how  the  men  were 
secured  against  weather, — in  a  word,  as  to  every  particular 
which  might  enable  them  duly  to  meet  all  necessary  require 
ments  for  the  comforts  and  appointments  of  the  men,  and 
of  materials  for  the  siege. 

Two  days  afterwards,  it  appears  from  the  Prince's  Diary, 
he  had  a  conference  with  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  on  the  sub 
ject  of  this  communication.  Between  this  period  and  the 
time  when  the  Duke  left  office,  he  was  probably  unable  to 
arrange  for  the  reform  of  the  existing  want  of  system.  But 
one  of  the  first  acts  of  Lord  Panmure,  his  successor  at  the 
War  Office,  was  to  require  Lord  Raglan  to  furnish  the  in 
formation  pointed  to  by  the  Prince.  His  language  is  so  nearly 
that  of  the  Prince's  Memorandum,  that  it  may  be  presumed 
to  have  been  before  him  when  he  wrote  (12th  February, 
1855)  the  following  letter  to  Lord  Raglan  : — 

*  It  appears  to  me  that  your  Lordship's  reports  to  my  depart 
ment,  are  too  scanty,  and,  in  order  to  remedy  this  inconvenience, 
I  have  to  request  that  you  will  call  upon  General  Officers  com 
manding  Divisions,  and  they  in  their  turn  will  desire  their 
Brigadiers  to  furnish  reports  once  a  fortnight,  which  you  will 
regularly  forward  for  my  information.  These  reports  must 
exhibit  fully  the  state  of  the  troops  in  camp.  They  will  mention 
the  condition  of  their  clothing,  the  amount  and  regularity  of 
issue  of  their  rations,  the  state  of  their  quarters,  and  the  cleanli 
ness  of  the  camp  in  its  several  parts.  .  .  .  The  General  Officers 


1855  FROM  BESIEGING  ARMY.  179 

will  mention  in  these  reports  any  difficulties  which  may  have 
occurred  as  to  the  issue  of  rations,  fuel,  or  forage,  and  you  must 
inquire  strictly  and  immediately  into  all  neglect,  and  visit  upon 
the  delinquent  the  punishment  due  to  his  fault. 

*  By  following  the  above  directions  you  will,  at  little  trouble  to 
yourself,  convey  to  me  most  interesting  information,  for  all  which 
I  am  at  present  compelled  to  rely  on  the  reports  of  unofficial 
individuals.' 


The  instructions  here  given  were  carried  out ;  and  from 
this  time  .Reports,  accompanied  by  tabular  Returns  on  the 
model  of  those  suggested  by  the  Prince,  were  regularly  for 
warded  to  the  Secretary  for  War,  and  by  him  to  the  Queen. 
With  these  before  them,  the  Home  authorities  could  see  at 
a  glance  the  strength  of  the  available  force  before  Sebastopol, 
what  gaps  had  to  be  supplied,  what  guns,  stores,  clothing, 
&c»,  had  to  be  provided,  and,  above  all, — which  defects  in 
the  previously  existing  system  had  shown  to  be  of  the  utmost 
moment, — whether  what  had  been  actually  provided  and  sup 
plied  from  home  for  the  army  had  been  duly  forwarded  to  its 
destination.  This  was  one  of  the  first  and  most  efficient  steps 
towards  curing  the  abuses,  which,  during  the  winter  of  1854— 
1855,  caused  so  much  loss  and  suffering  to  the  English  forces. 
The  wonder  is,  that  a  reform  of  this  nature  should  have  been 
left  to  emanate  from  one  who  had  no  practical  experience  in 
war.  May  this  not  be  read  as  one  indication  among  many, 
that  in  designating  the  Prince  for  his  successor  at  the  Horse 
Guards,  the  Duke  of  Wellington  had  acted  on  a  well-founded 
conviction  of  his  Royal  Highness's  special  fitness  for  the 
office? 

This  winter  set  in  with  unusual  severity  in  England.  Its 
rigours  seemed  to  give  poignancy  to  the  pain,  which  every 
fresh  communication  from  the  Crimea  was  calculated  to  ag 
gravate.  What  the  prevailing  feeling  was,  Mr.  Bright,  no 
lover  of  the  war,  expressed  in  the  House  of  Commons  (23id 

N   2 


iSo  QUEEN'S  LETTER   TO  LORD  RAGLAN.         1855 

February,  18  55),  when  he  said,  'Thousands,  scores  of  thousands 
of  persons,  have  retired  to  rest,  night  after  night,  whose  slum 
bers  have  been  disturbed  or  whose  dreams  have  been  busied 
with  the  sufferings  and  agonies  of  our  soldiers  in  the  Crimea.' 
At  the  kindly  Christmas  time  men's  thoughts  naturally  tra 
velled  away  from  the  warmth  of  their  own  hearth-fires  to  the 
wind-swept  slopes,  where  so  many  of  their  countrymen  were 
fighting  for  very  life  against  fearful  odds.  Nowhere  less  than 
in  the  Palace  were  their  hardships  likely  to  be  forgotten ;  and 
the  Queen,  while  sending  salutation  to  her  troops  on  New 
Year's  day  through  Lord  Raglan,  seized  the  opportunity  to 
press  the  consideration  of  these  hardships  upon  his  personal 
attention,  to  which  there  was  reason  to  think  it  had  not  been 
sufficiently  directed.  It  was  thus  Her  Majesty  wrote : — 

'  The  sad  privations  of  the  army,  the  bad  weather,  and 
the  constant  sickness  are  causes  of  the  deepest  concern  and 
anxiety  to  the  Queen  and  Prince.  The  braver  her  noble 
troops  are,  the  more  patiently  and  heroically  they  bear  all 
their  trials  and  sufferings,  the  more  miserable  we  feel  at  their 
long  continuance.  The  Queen  trusts  that  Lord  Raglan  will 
be  very  strict  in  seeing  that  no  unnecessary  privations  are 
incurred  by  any  negligence  of  those  whose  duty  it  is  to  watch 
over  their  wants. 

'  The  Queen  heard  that  their  coffee  was  given  them  green, 
instead  of  roasted,  and  some  other  things  of  this  kind,  which 
have  distressed  her,  as  she  feels  so  anxious  that  they  should 
be  made  as  comfortable  as  circumstances  can  admit  of.  The 
Queen  earnestly  trusts,  that  the  large  amount  of  warm 
clothing  sent  out  has  not  only  reached  Balaclava,  but  has  been 
distributed,  and  that  Lord  Eaglan  has  been  successful  in 
procuring  the  means  of  hutting  for  the  men. 

'  Lord  Raglan  cannot  think  how  much  we  suffer  for  the 
army,  and  how  painfully  anxious  we  are  to  know  that  their 


1855        COMPLAINTS  AGAINST  LORD  RAGLAN.          181 

privations  are  decreasing. .  . .  The  Queen  cannot  conclude 
without  wishing  Lord  Raglan  and  the  whole  of  the  army,  in 
the  Prince's  name  and  her  own,  a  happy  and  glorious  New 
Year.' 

By  this  time  a  loud  outcry  against  Lord  Raglan  had  begun 
in  the  press.  He  was  charged  with  neglecting  to  see  to  the 
actual  state  of  his  troops,  and  to  the  necessary  measures  for 
their  relief.  Their  condition  was  becoming  more  and  more 
pitiable  ;  their  numbers  dwindling  rapidly  from  death  and  dis 
ease.1  The  road  between  Balaclava  and  the  camp  had  become  a 
muddy  quagmire,  the  few  remaining  horses  of  our  cavalry 
were  rapidly  disappearing,  every  day  the  difficulty  of  getting 
up  food  and  other  necessaries  from  Balaclava  was  becoming 
more  serious,  and  still  no  provision  was  being  made  for 
supplying  an  effective  means  of  transport.  The  disastrous 
consequences  were  now  being  felt  of  the  neglect  to  construct, 
during  the  fine  weather,  a  sound  road  from  the  camp  to  the 
port,  from  which  its  supplies  were  drawn.  In  the  anxiety  to 
open  our  batteries,  and  to  maintain  a  fire  upon;  Sebastopol, 
every  available  horse  and  man  had  been  called  into  play.  It 
was  in  vain  that  the  military  authorities  urged;,  in  answer  to 
the  complaints  that  reached  them  from  England,  that  if, 
instead  of  this,  they  had,  on  their  arrival  before  Sebastopol, 
employed  any  of  their  scanty  forces  in  making  a  road  and 
in  other  preparations  for  wintering  in  the  Crimea,  all  Eng 
land  would  have  been  up  in  arms  at  their  delay,  and  would 
have  ascribed  the  failure  of  the  attack  to  over-precaution. 
This  might  be  true  ;  but  what  of  that  ?  The  question  was  not, 
what  might  have  been  said  in  a  certain  event,  but  what 
ought  to  have  been  done  ?  The  very  terms  of  the  defence 
implied,  that  under  an  apprehension  of  unjust  censure  the 

1  On  the  22nd  of  January  Colonel  Gordon  writes  to  General  Grey,  '  Our 
effectives  today  are  only  10,362!  ' 


1 82  CAUSES   OF  THE  BREAK-DOWN  1855 

attack  upon  Sebastopol  had  been  made  without  first  making 
provision  against  the  contingency  of  a  failure,  which  had  yet 
been  foreseen.  Only  a  success,  which  those  upon  the  spot 
did  not  dare  to  hope  for,  could  have  vindicated  such  a  course. 
Success  had  not  been  achieved,  and  now  the  inevitable  penalty 
followed.  For  when  did  general  or  statesman  swerve  from 
his  conviction,  to  gratify  .a  popular  outcry, — the  ardor 
civium  prava  jubentium, — but  he  had  to  expiate  his  weak 
ness  in  the  reproaches  of  those  to  whose  clamour  he  had 
yielded  ?  So  it  was  now.  Loudest  in  condemnation  of  Lord 
Eaglan  were  the  very  men  who,  in  the  fulness  of  their 
ignorance  as  to  the  scanty  resources  at  his  disposal,  com 
pared  with  those  of  his  adversaries,  had  been  most  vehement 
in  urging  that  Sebastopol  must  fall  before  a  vigorous  attack. 
When  the  failure  of  the  fire  of  the  Allies  on  the  17th  of 
October  had  demonstrated,  that  Sebastopol  was  not  to  be 
taken  except  by  regular  siege,  the  formation  of  a  sound 
road  between  the  camp  and  Balaclava  should  clearly  have 
been  the  first  thought.  It  was  true,  that  we  had  no  men  to 
spare  for  the  work,  but  labourers  from  Constantinople  or 
even  from  England  might  easily  have  been  procured,  had  the 
necessary  steps  been  taken.  A  great  general,  a  Wellington, 
a  Napoleon,  or  a  Moltke,  would  never  have  omitted  to  make 
.himself  secure  on  so  essential  a  point.  But  the  man  at  the 
head  of  our  army,  admirable  as  he  was  in  much,  was  not 
gifted  with  the  imaginative  genius  of  a  great  commander, 
which  foresees  the  -contingencies  of  a  compaign,  and  provides 
for  them  by  anticipation.  He  could  handle  his  army  well 
in  the  field.  But  how  to  ensure  for  it  the  food,  clothing, 
and  shelter,  the  want  of  which  are  more  deadly  than  all  the 
casualties  of  battle,  was  a  problem  apparently  beyond  his 
grasp.  In  any  case,  it  was  one  with  which  he  did  not 
grapple  till  too  late.  The  absence  of  this  quality  was  all  the 
more  disastrous,  inasmuch  as  the  system,  with  which  he  had 


1855  OF  THE  MILITARY  ARRANGEMENTS.  183 

to  work,  was  defective  in  any  provision  for  the  emergency 
which  had  arisen.  It  was  a  matter  of  dispute,  in  fact,  on 
whom  the  duty  of  seeing  to  the  efficiency  of  the  road  rested, 
whether  on  the  Quartermaster-General's  department,  or  that 
of  the  Commissariat.  Neither  had  men  or  means  for  the 
work  upon  the  spot,  and  there  was  no  one  to  insist  that 
these  should  be  instantly  provided  elsewhere.  The  flaw  was 
but  one  of  many  in  the  organisation  of  the  army,  which  the 
experiences  of  the  campaign  had  brought  and  were  daily 
bringing  into  relief,  and  which  forced  upon  the  view  the 
necessity  for  a  thorough  reform  of  our  military  system.  '  The 
present  administration  of  the  army  is  not  to  be  defended. 
My  heart  bleeds  to  think  of  it ! '  are  the  Prince's  words,  in  a 
letter  of  the  20th  of  January  of  this  year  to  King  Leopold. 

The  subject  was  no  new  one  to  the  Prince.  It  had  occu 
pied  his  thoughts  for  years,  and  by  the  camp  at  Chobham, 
and  by  the  scheme  of  a  permanent  camp  at  Aldershot,  some 
of  his  ideas  had  been  carried  into  effect.  By  these  he  had 
sought  to  neutralise  a  defect  in  the  system,  to  which  the 
Grreat  Duke,  by  his  mode  of  dealing  with  the  army  at  home 
during  a  long  peace,  had  given  encouragement.  '  In  his  ex 
treme  desire,'  says  Colonel  Hamley,  in  his  able  monograph  on 
Wellington,2  '  to  keep  the  military  subordinate  to  the  civil 
power,  he  treated  the  army  as  a  machine  to  be  taken  to 
pieces  and  packed  away  in  small  fractions  till  it  should  be 
needed.  To  the  officers  the  consequence  was,  that  none  of 
them,  even  of  high  rank,  ever  had,  while  in  England,  an 
opportunity  of  seeing  a  division  assembled,  and  that  they 
could  consequently  have  no  practical  acquaintance  with  the 
relation  which  the  dry  details  of  evolution  and  regimental 
duty  bear  to  the  operations  of  a  force  composed  of  the  differ 
ent  arms.'  In  this  view,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  Memo- 

2    Wellington's  Career :  A  Military  and  Practical  Summary.   By  E.  B.  Hamley. 
Blackwood,  1860:  p.  107. 


1 84  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1855 

random  presently  to  be  quoted,  the  Prince  by  anticipation 
concurred,  and  he  mentions  it  in  explanation  of  the  causes 
which  had  contributed  to  the  defects  of  our  army  system. 
The  time,  he  conceived,  had  come  for  dealing  with  the  whole 
subject  in  a  comprehensive  spirit,  and  although  he  was  at 
this  period  much  prostrated,  as  his  Diary  shows,  by  a  pro 
tracted  attack  of  influenza,  he  gathered  up  his  strength  to 
embody  his  views  in  one  of  his  carefully  studied  Memo 
randums. 

On  the  merits  of  this  Memorandum  only  the  judgment  of 
military  men  can  be  of  any  value  ;  but  we  have  the  authority 
of  the  distinguished  officer,  now  the  head  of  the  Staff  Col 
lege,  from  whom  we  have  just  quoted,  for  saying,  that  '  it 
has  been  the  aim  of  military  reformers  since  to  embody  all 
its  suggestions,  and  that  all  have  been  put  in  practice,'  with 
the  exception  of  certain  points  of  detail,  with  which  the 
Memorandum  either  does  not  deal  at  all,  or  only  imperfectly. 
It  does  not  indeed  profess  to  be  exhaustive,  and  the  Prince  had 
already,  in  his  communications  with  the  Government,  dealt 
with  such  questions  as  the  formation  of  reserves,  the  term  of 
service,  and  other  important  particulars  on  which  the  Memoran 
dum  does  not  touch.  Some  of  the  details  of  organisation,  of 
which  the  Memorandum  speaks,  we  are  informed  by  Colonel 
Hamley,  have  always  be  en  regarded  as  necessary  for  an  army 
in  the  field,  and  what  the  Prince  says  on  these  points,  there 
fore,  although  excellent  so  far  as  it  goes,  is  not  entitled  to  the 
same  merit  for  originality,  as  the  rest  of  the  paper.  Upon 
the  whole,  however,  Colonel  Hamley  considers  that  this  paper 
c  distinctly  hits  the  blots  in  the  system  as  it  then  existed, 
affords  another  proof  of  the  soundness  of  the  Prince  Consort's 
judgment,  and  of  his  capacity  for  being  a  leader  in  reform, 
and  will  enhance  his  repute  as  a  thinker  and  administrator.' 
With  so  high  a  testimony  to  its  merits,  it  will  not  be  out  of 
place  to  preserve  a  record  of  this  interesting  document : — 


1855  ON  ARMY   ORGANISATION.  185 

'Windsor  Castle,  14th  January,  1855. 

'It  was  always  to  be  expected,  that  after  an  European 
peace  of  forty  years,  a  great  war,  finding  us  on  a  reduced 
peace  establishment,  with  most  of  our  experienced  generals 
dead  or  superannuated,  would  expose  us  to  much  danger,  and 
our  armies  possibly  at  the  outset  even  to  reverses. 

'  Whilst  other  countries,  enjoying  less  liberty  than  our  own, 
and  compelled  by  their  Continental  position,  have  kept  up 
large  standing  armies,  and  employed  the  forty  years  in 
constant  application  to  the  organisation  and  exercise  of  those 
armies,  we  have  directed  our  whole  ingenuity  to  devices  to 
reduce  expenditure,  and  to  avoid  public  attention  being- 
drawn  to  the  affairs  of  the  army.3 

(  A.  maxim  having  even  received  public  acceptation  that 
England  was  not  a  military  country,  and  should  never  again 
engage  in  a  Continental  war,  great  fears  were  naturally  en 
tertained  when  the  army  was  suddenly  called  upon  to  em 
bark  in  a  contest  with  the  two  greatest  military  Powers,  the 
one  as  an  enemy  to  be  overcome,  the  other  as  an  ally  to  be 
rivalled. 

'  Notwithstanding  a  pre-conceived  determination  on  the 
part  of  the  public  to  consider  our  army  as  inferior  in  all 
military  qualities  to  the  French,  events  have  shown  that  our 
small  army  was  prepared  to  take  the  field  as  early  as  the 
French,  and,  when  they  came  to  the  first  battle,  actually  out- 

3  Do  not  our  public  men,  in  a  competition,  not  unnatural,  to  outvie  their 
rivals  in  reducing  our  military  expenditure,  still  foster  too  much  the  prevail 
ing  disposition  to  rely  for  security  on  our  insular  position  and  naval  suprem 
acy?  If  we  are  to  command  the  respect  of  other  countries,  and  to  retain  a 
firm  hold  of  those  vast  colonial  and  foreign  possessions,  which  go  so  far  to 
make  the  greatness  and  to  justify  the  influence  of  England,  we  cannot  hope  to 
escape  the  expense  of  maintaining  an  army  which  shall  be  something  more 
than  merely  sufficient  for  purposes  of  national  police  or  for  the  wants  of  the 
colonies  and  our  Indian  empire.  We  may  not  always  be  able  to  count  on  the 
friendliness  of  other  States  :  in  prudence  we  ought  not  to  leave  ourselves  at 
their  mercy. 


186  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1855 

numbered  it.  The  victories  it  has  since  achieved  over  the 
Russians  have  placed  it  before  the  world  as  pre-eminent  in 
fighting  qualities,  discipline,  and  obedience,  and  even 
beyond  this,  in  a  cheerful  spirit  of  resignation,  under  every 
possible  description  of  sickness,  privation,  and  hardship. 

'  When,  however,  it  became  engaged  in  a  protracted  siege, 
great  wants,  exhibiting  almost  a  state  of  helplessness,  became 
apparent.  The  nation  is  alarmed,  and  urgent  and  loud  in 
its  complaints.  The  most  opposite  causes  are  pointed  out  as 
having  produced  the  state  of  things  complained  of.  Some 
find  fault  with  the  age  of  our  Commander ;  some  with  the 
youth  and  inexperience  of  the  Staff;  some  with  the  aristo 
cratic  composition  of  our  corps  of  officers ;  some  with  the 
subdivision  of  departments  in  the  army ;  some  with  the  civil 
departments  at  home;  others  abuse  personally  particular 
generals  abroad  and  Ministers  at  home,  and  what  they  term 
Horse  Chiards  officials. 

'  All  these  causes  may  have  contributed  in  various  degrees 
to  what  we  deplore,  and,  more  than  all  these,  the  distance  of 
3.000  miles  to  the  seat  of  war.  But  I  am  firmly  convinced 
that  the  chief  cause  is  to  be  found  in  our  military  system. 

6  An  army  is  but  an  instrument,  and,  according  to  the 
way  in  which  you  construct  that  instrument,  it  will  work. 
It  is  worth  inquiring  what  our  system  really  is. 

'  I  hazard  the  opinion,  that  our  army,  as  at  present  orga 
nised,  can  hardly  be  called  an  army  at  all,  but  a  mere 
aggregate  of  battalions  of  infantry,  with  some  regiments  of 
cavalry,  and  an  artillery  regiment. 

'In  our  ancient  wars  distinct  regiments  were  raised  by 
different  noblemen  and  others  for  special  services,  and  these, 
with  the  King's  guards,  organised  after  the  model  of  Louis 
XIV.,  with  his  Hanoverian  troops,  foreign  mercenaries  and 
native  levies  in  India,  formed  the  fighting  power  of  India  in 
all  her  later  wars.  During  the  Peninsular  war,  under  the 


1855  ON  ARMY  ORGANISATION.  187 

guidance  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  the  British  force  for 
the  first  time  assumed  such  numbers,  and  was  kept  so  long 
together,  as  to  enable  him  to  introduce  an  army  system.  It 
came  out  of  the  contest  with  the  admiration  of  the  world, 
but  at  the  signature  of  peace  this  army,  as  such,  was  broken 
up. 

'  All  the  generals  were  put  on  the  shelf,  all  the  machinery 
to  which  it  owed  its  efficiency  was  done  away  with,  and 
nothing  kept  but  its  admirable  regimental  system,  readily 
acknowledged  by  all  the  military  authorities  who  are 
acquainted  with  it,  as  hardly  to  be  surpassed.  The  cry  for 
economy,  and  what  Lord  Castlereagh  termed  '  an  ignorant 
impatience  of  taxation,'  forced  upon  successive  Governments 
reduction  upon  reduction,  and  such  a  distribution  of  the 
remaining  troops  as  to  form  an  apology  for  keeping  any  at 
all.  In  fact,  the  army  has  never  been  acknowledged  by  the 
nation  as  a  national  want,  with  recognised  claims  to  its 
consideration. 

4  We  have  nothing  but  distinct  battalions. 

6  These  distinct  battalions  have  been  used  in  an  order  of 
rotation,  more  or  less  adhered  to,  for  Colonial  garrisons,  as 
Indian  auxiliaries,  and  for  duties  at  home,  rather  those  of  a 
police  force  than  of  regular  troops.  Occasionally  some  of 
them  have  been  thrown  together  a  Uimpromptu,  to  meet  a 
war  in  some  foreign  climate  suddenly  thrust  upon  the 
country,  and  generally  not  foreseen.  Some  old  general 
officer,  usually  the  accidental  senior  on  the  nearest  station, 
has  been  put  in  command,  with  a  staff  formed  by  him  in 
haste  from  his  younger  friends  and  relations.  Yet  the 
country  has  never  been  disappointed  in  its  expectations,  owing 
to  the  admirable  conduct  of  the  battalions,  guided  by  officers, 
gentlemen  in  every  sense  of  the  word,  who  have  conquered 
vast  countries,  with  means  ludicrously  small  compared  with 
those  against  which  they  had  to  contend,  or  that  would 


i88  MEMORANDUM  BY  TH£  PRINCE  1855 

have  been  employed  for  the  same  purpose  by  any  other 
country.  During  the  necessary  difficulties  of  their  cam 
paigns  the  country  has  confined  itself  to  abusing  the  old 
generals  (Grough  in  India,  then  in  China,  Smith  at  the 
Cape,  Godwin  in  Burmah,  &c.),  but  when  the  difficulties 
have  been  overcome,  it  has  never  felt  the  duty  of  doing  any 
thing  towards  rendering  future  tasks  to  these  noble  troops 
less  difficult. 

6  We  have  in  consequence,  as  I  have  said,  admirable 
battalions,  but  nothing  beyond; — No  generals  (as  a  rule) 
trained  and  practised  in  the  duties  of  that  rank  (for,  as 
soon  as  a  colonel  obtains  that  rank,  he  is,  as  a  system,  placed 
on  the  half  pay,  and  not  afterwards  employed,  except,  if  at 
all,  as  inspecting  officer  in  a  district,  or  as  commandant  of  a 
garrison)  ; — No  general  staff  or  staff  corps 4  (to  the  organisa 
tion  of  which  all  Continental  Powers  have  paid  the  most 
special  and  minute  attention)  ; — No  field  commissariat,  no 
field  army  department;  no  ambulance  corps,  no  baggage 
train,  no  corps  of  drivers,  no  corps  of  artisans ;  no  prac 
tice,  or  possibility  of  acquiring  it,  in  the  combined  use  of 
the  three  arms,  cavalry,  infantry,  and  artillery ; — No  general 
qualified  to  handle  more  than  one  of  these  arms,  and  the 
artillery  kept  as  distinct  from  the  army  as  if  it  icere  a 
separate  profession. 

'  This  has  naturally  produced,  in  addition,  other  detrimental 
consequences,  such  as  these,  that  we  have  no  barracks  for 

4  A  year  later  (16th  Feb.  1856)  we  find  the  Prince  lamenting,  in  a  letter  to  the 
King  of  the  Belgians,  that  he  has  been  unable  to  get  public  men  to  recognise 
this  radical  flaw  in  our  military  system.  '  What  is  bad  in  the  army  has  been 
occasioned  by  the  House  of  Commons.  It  has  never  allowed  us  to  have  per 
manent  generals  in  the  service,  nor  a  general  staff;  and  herein  lies  the  fault. 
No  army  in  the  world  could  hold  its  own,  as  after  all  ours  has  done,  if  military 
service  as  a  profession  is  to  culminate  in  the  command  of  a  battalion,  and  if 
"  a  particular  officer  for  a  particular  job  "  is  to  be  appointed  merely  casually 
after  twenty  years  of  other  occupations.  With  all  the  outcry  about  reform,  L 
have  not  been  able  to  make  anybody  comprehend  this.' 


1855  ON  ARMY  ORGANISATION.  189 

more  than  a  battalion  here  and  there  ;  no  means  of  pro 
viding  for  the  defences  of  the  coast,  nor  of  garrisoning  the 
defences  either  existing  or  proposed,  not  even  such  as 
Plymouth  and  Portsmouth,  where  the  barrack  accommoda 
tion  is  perfectly  miserable.  In  fact,  we  have  nothing  but 
103  battalions,  of  which  about  a  third  or  a  half  are  generally 
at  home. 

'  More  might  perhaps  have  been  done  in  giving  practice, 
in  moving  and  handling  and  supplying  troops,  by  occasional 
concentrations  and  reviews  on  a  large  scale,  but  fear  of 
incurring  expense,  and  a  general  dislike  to  what  is  contemp 
tuously  called  "  playing  at  soldiers,"  have  prevented  this,  until 
the  camp  at  Chobham  was  formed  the  year  before  last  under 
the  pressure  of  "  the  invasion  panic." 

'  If  the  defects  we  sutler  from  be  here  correctly  stated,  the 
remedy  would  lie  in  giving  to  the  British  army  permanently 
the  organisation  which  every  other  army  in  Europe  enjoys, 
viz.  that  of  brigades  and  divisions. 

'The  103  battalions  of  infantry  would  form  34  brigades, 
and  these  17  divisions.  The  23  regiments  of  cavalry  8 
brigades.  Each  of  the  17  divisions  ought  to  have  its  proper 
complement  of  artillery  permanently  attached  to  it,  say  24 
guns,  and  kept  complete. 

'  The  cavalry  not  doing  Colonial  duty  should  be  attached 
at  home  by  brigades  to  the  respective  divisions.  Each 
division  and  each  brigade  ought  to  have  its  staff,  commis 
sariat,  medical  department,  ambulance,  and  baggage  train 
attached  to  it.  By  keeping  these  commands  and  appoint 
ments  filled  up,  we  alone  can  get  the  means  of  judging  of 
the  fitness  of  men  for  command,  and  give  them  the  means  of 
fitting  themselves  for  it. 

'The  divisions  ought  to  be  placed  in  accordance  with  a 
comprehensive  view  of  the  exigences  of  the  country  at  home 
and  abroad,  and  with  reference  to  the  duties  which  they  may 


*I9<>  MEMORANDUM  BY  THE  PRINCE  1855 

be  called  upon  to  perform.  Camps  of  evolution,  in  which 
the  troops  should  be  concentrated  and  drilled  together  during 
a  portion  of  the  year,  should  at  the  same  time  be  formed.5 

'  I  abstain  from  proposing  a  detailed  system  of  distribution, 
which  would  want  more  consideration,  but  to  show  that  the 
plan  is  feasible,  I  will  sketch  out  a  possible  scheme ; — one 
division  at  Gibraltar,  one  at  Malta,  one  in  the  Ionian  Islands, 
four  in  India,  one  at  the  Cape  and  Mauritius,  one  in 
Australia,  China,  Ceylon,  one  in  the  Transatlantic  Provinces, 
including  the  West  Indies,  seven  at  home,  of  which  four  in 
Great  Britain  and  three  in  Ireland. 

'  I  would  keep  quite  distinct  from  this  effective  army  the 
regimental  depot  organisation.  The  depot  battalions  would 
be  dispersed  in  the  small  barracks  now  occupied  by  the 
service  battalions. 

'  The  objections  which  will  be  urged  against  this  plan 
will,  I  presume,  be,  first,  the  necessity  of  giving  the  battalions 
their  fair  turn  of  foreign  and  home  service  ;  but  this  may  be 
obtained  by  either  relieving  whole  divisions,  or  brigades  in 
the  divisions,  or  regiments  in  the  brigades  ;  secondly,  the 
impossibility  of  keeping  the  divisions  together  under  all 
circumstances  ;  but  the  temporary  detachment  of  brigades 
or  battalions  need  not  disturb  the  general  system ;  thirdly, 
the  increased  expense  ;  but  this  cannot  be  great,  in  fact, 
amounting  to  no  more  than  the  difference  between  the  half 
and  full  pay,  and  allowances  of  some  fifty  general  officers  and 
their  staff.  The  additional  expense  arising  out  of  the  organi 
sation  of  ambulance  and  baggage  trains  will  be  compen 
sated  by  the  saving  of  the  lavish  and  often  useless  expendi- 

5  '  This  sentence,'  says  Colonel  Hamley,  '  contains  the  germ  of  Aldershot.' 
No  doubt ;  and  long  before  the  Crimean  war  was  dreamt  of,  the  Prince  had 
pressed  the  formation  of  this  camp  on  the  Government  as  an  urgent  necessity — 
a  necessity  only  acknowledged,  however,  when  bitter  experience  had  shown, 
that,  despite  '  that  eternal  lack  of  pence,  which  :.s  the  curse  of  public  men,'  it 
must  be  provided  for. 


1855  ON  ARMY  ORGANISATION.  191 

ture  caused  by  the  necessity  of  suddenly  having  to  create  all 
this  in  the  emergency  of  war. 

'  On  the  whole,  the  difficulty,  if  not  utter  impossibility  of 
creating  the  whole  machinery  which  constitutes  an  army  at 
the  moment  when  this  army  is  to  take  the  field  and  meet 
the  enemy,  induces  a  lavish  and  absurd  expenditure,  when 
the  finances  are  already  heavily  drawn  upon, — is  in  the 
highest  degree  prejudicial  and  cruel  to  those  noble  soldiers 
who  go  forth  to  expose  themselves  to  every  danger  and  hard 
ship, — unfair  to  those  who  are  suddenly  called  upon  to 
undertake  the  various  duties  for  which  they  have  had  no 
opportunity  of  qualifying  themselves, — exposes  the  army  to 
disaster, — and  imperils  both  the  best  interests  and  the  honour 
of  the  country. 

'  If  this  want,  which  has  been  thus  pointed  out,  be  not 
supplied,  those  will  be  much  mistaken  who  imagine  that  the 
evils  now  complained  of  can  be  remedied  either  by  a  change 
in  our  system  of  promotion,  or  in  the  class  of  society  from 
which  our  officers  are  drawn,  or  by  transferring  the  patronage 
of  the  army  from  a  military  commander  to  a  political 
partisan,  or  by  recasting  all  existing  military  and  civil 
departments,  putting  the  army  under  civil  or  Parliamentary 
command,  or  by  any  other  scheme  lately  urged  by  the  press; 
as  none  of  them  all  will  give  the  organs  of  vitality  to  an  army, 
which  are  indispensable  to  it  when  it  is  to  take  the  field.' 

This  Memorandum  was  sent  at  once  (14th  January,  1856) 
by  the  Prince  to  Lord  Aberdeen,  with  a  request  that  it 
might  be  circulated  amongst  the  members  of  the  Cabinet,  as 
the  organisation  of  the  army  would  probably  be  the  chief 
topic  of  discussion  in  the  approaching  Session.6  It  was 

6  Among  the  Prince's  papers  are  letters  by  the  la*e  Mr.  Edward  Ellice,  Sir 
Frederick  Stovin,  and  Lord  Seaton,  in  which  the  Prince's  suggestions  are  dis 
cussed  in  detail,  and  generally  with  marked  approval. 


I92  HOW  DEALT   WITH.  1855 

accordingly  submitted  to  several  of  the  leading  members 
of  the  Government,  by  most  of  whom,  it  appears  from  a 
brief  entry  in  the  Prince's  Diary  on  the  20th  of  January, 
it  was  approved.  But  it  was  left  to  another  Ministry  to 
deal  with  practically,  for  on  the  24th  the  Aberdeen  Adminis 
tration  had  ceased  to  exist. 


J93 


CHAPTER   LX. 

THE  recoil  from  the  extravagant  hopes  which  had  been  raised 
in  England  by  the  triumphant  progress  of  the  Allied  armies 
up  to  the  time  of  their  arrival  before  Sebastopol  would,  under 
any  circumstances,  have  led  to  angry  dissatisfaction  with  the 
leaders,  to  whom  success  up  to  this  point  was  assumed  to 
have  been  in  a  great  measure  due.  Those  leaders  felt  this 
keenly,  as  the  full  consciousness  of  their  position  dawned 
upon  them,  and  they  saw  that  it  was  not  a  fortress  they  were 
attacking,  but  an  army,  with  apparently  inexhaustible  rein 
forcements  at  its  back,  and  already  superior  in  numbers  to 
their  own,  firmly  entrenched  on  ground  of  immense  strength, 
and  provided  with  an  overwhelming  weight  of  artillery. 
Writing  on  the  morning  after  the  battle  of  Inkermann,  Sir 
John  Burgoyne  says,1  4  More  will  be  required  of  us  than  we 
can  possibly  undertake,  .  .  .  and,  as  ies  malheureux  out 
toujours  tort,  I  expect  we  shall  have  as  little  mercy  from 
friends  as  from  foes  !  In  fact,  we  have  been  engaged  in  an 
undertaking  for  which  we  had  not  sufficient  means.  Our 
force  is  little  more  than  half  of  what  we  have  landed  in  the 
Crimea  !  Our  losses  yesterday  nearly  one  half  of  the  forces 
engaged  !  These  are  tests  at  least  of  the  exertions  of  the 
army :  their  leaders  will,  I  presume,  be  the  victims.' 

It  was  hard  for  their  countrymen   at  home,  who  had  such 
good  reason  to  put  faith  in  the  valour  of  the  army,  and  who 

1  Letter  to  Colonel  Matson,  E.E.,  printed  in  Life  and  Correspondence  of 
Sir  John  Burgoyne,  by  his  Son-in-law.     London,  1873,  vol.  ii.  p.  118. 

VOL.  III.  0 


194  PUBLIC  INDIGNATION  1855 

were  prepared  to  spend  the  resources  of  the  Empire  without 
stint  to  support  them  in  their  enterprise,  to  understand  why 
there  should  have  been  any  lack  of  means  for  carrying  it  on, 
still  less  why  every  precaution  should  not  have  been  taken 
to  secure  the  comfort  of  the  scanty  force  on  whom  the  stress 
of  this  gigantic  undertaking  had  now  fallen.  While  clamour 
ing  eagerly  for  a  vigorous  prosecution  of  the  war,  they  had 
never  stopped  to  inquire  whether  our  military  system  had 
made  provision  for  the  efficient  working  of  the  complicated 
machinery  of  a  great  army  in  the  field.  When,  therefore,  it 
broke  down,  as  it  did  for  the  reasons  explained  in  the  Prince's 
Memorandum,  the  public  indignation  was,  as  it  could  scarcely 
fail  to  be,  directed  against  those  whose  misfortune  it  was  to 
have  to  administer  a  radically  defective  system,  at  a  juncture 
when  it  was  put  for  the  first  time  to  the  test  of  actual  war 
fare  with  a  powerful  enemy.  Grenius  itself,  either  military 
or  civil,  while  it  might  have  averted  many  of  the  disasters, 
which  were  due  to  want  of  forethought  and  organisation, 
could  scarcely  have  averted  all.  It  could  not  improvise  the 
well-trained  and  experienced  soldiers,  who  were  wanted  to 
supply  the  huge  gaps  created  by  the  losses  from  battle  and 
disease  ;  neither  could  it  organise,  in  defiance  of  the  restric 
tions  of  a  sleepy  routine,  the  system  of  transport,  of  ambu 
lances,  and  hospital  management,  which  should  have  been 
established  and  in  good  working  order  before  our  army  took 
the  field.  When  the  '  horrible  and  heart-rending  '  suffering 
which  had  resulted  and  obviously  must  continue  to  result 
from  these  flaws  in  our  military  system  became  known  in 
England,  a  storm  of  indignation  arose,  which  sought  a  vent 
in  exaggerated  abuse  not  only  of  the  leaders  in  the  field,  but 
of  the  Administration  at  home. 

The  Head  of  the  Administration  had  all  along  been  un 
justly  accused  of  supineness  in  the  prosecution  of  the  war ; 
and  in  this  he  was  assumed  to  be  countenanced  by  the  Peelite 


i855  AGAINST   THE  MINISTRY.  195 

section  of  the  Cabinet,  to  which  the  two  War  Secretaries,  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle  and  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert,  belonged.  This 
supineness,  said  to  be  begotten  of  a  deep-seated  antipathy  to  the 
war  itself,  was  alleged  to  lie  at  the  root  of  all  that  had  gone 
amiss  in  the  conduct  of  the  campaign ;  and,  with  incredible 
unfairness,  the  men  responsible  for  the  honour  of  the  Empire 
and  for  the  well-being  of  the  army  were  accused  of  being  not 
merely  insensible  to  these  duties,  but  too  indolent  to  bestir 
themselves  towards  meeting  the  tremendous  exigencies  of  the 
hour.  The  truth  was  all  the  other  way.  They  had  been  the 
first  to  see  the  mischiefs  which  the  defects  of  our  system  were 
bringing  upon  us,  and  had  toiled  day  and  night  to  repair  them 
by  every  means  in  their  power.  While  the  other  members  of 
the  Cabinet  were  seeking  rest  in  the  country,  Lord  Aberdeen 
and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  remained  in  London,  meeting,  to 
the  utmost  of  their  ability,  every  want  which  was  brought 
to  their  notice  from  head-quarters,  and  anticipating  others, 
which  the  best  practical  advice  within  their  reach  at  home 
suggested  as  likely  to  arise.  Knowing  better  than  any  other 
men  could  know  what  the  evils  were  that  demanded  cure, 
their  days  and  nights  were  racked  with  anxiety,  from  the 
consciousness  that  any  complete  cure  was  beyond  their  reach. 
It  was  the  one  subject  which  occupied  all  their  energies ; 
and  yet  they  were  singled  out  for  obloquy  as  mainly  respon 
sible  for  the  confusion  and  suffering  which  prevailed  both  at 
the  seat  of  war  and  in  the  hospitals  on  the  Bosphorus. 

While  bearing  as  best  they  might  the  imputations  to  which 
they  were  exposed  from  without,  an  agitation  arose  within 
the  Cabinet  itself  to  augment  their  anxieties.  Early  in 
November  Lord  John  Russell  appealed  to  Lord  Aberdeen  to 
concentrate  the  offices  of  Secretary  at  War  and  Secretary  of 
State  for  War,  displacing  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  and  vesting 
both  offices  in  Lord  Palmerston,  as  the  only  man  '  who,  from 
experience  of  military  details,  from  inherent  vigour  of  mind, 

o  2 


196    DIFFERENCES  BETWEEN  LORD  J.  RUSSELL    1855 

and  from  weight  with  the  House  of  Commons,  could  be  ex 
pected  to  guide  the  great  operations  of  war  with  authority 
and  success.'  While  expressly  disclaiming  any  intention  to 
impute  blame  to  the  Duke,  Lord  John  urged  that  he  had 
not  c  the  authority  requisite  for  so  great  a  sphere,  and  had 
not  been  able  to  do  all  that  might  have  been  done  with 
larger  powers  of  control.' 2  The  appeal  took  Lord  Aberdeen 
wholly  by  surprise,  as  he  had  hitherto  been  under  the  impres 
sion  that  Lord  John  had  preferred  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  to 
Lord  Palmerston  for  the  War  Department,  when  the  appoint 
ment  was  originally  made.  He  felt  that,  if  Lord  John  were 
acting  with  the  concurrence  of  Lord  Palmerston,  a  break-up 
of  the  Government  was  inevitable  ;  and  he  stated  this  as  his 
conviction  to  the  Queen,  who  saw  at  a  glance,  how  disastrous 
were  the  consequences  likely  to  ensue  from  such  a  state  of 
things,  at  this  critical  period  in  the  great  struggle  in  which 
we  were  engaged. 

The  Minister  at  whom  the  attack  was  ostensibly  directed 
at  once  placed  himself  at  the  disposal  of  his  chief.  In  a 
Memorandum' dated  the  27th  of  November,  the  Prince  re 
cords  that  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  though  '  deeply  mortified 
at  the  reckless  manner  in  which  Lord  John  contemplated 
ruining  his  reputation  and  public  position,  begged  most 
earnestly  to  be  removed,  if  this  were  the  only  way  to  keep 
the  Cabinet  together.'  But  the  Cabinet  were  in  no  way 
disposed  to  accept  such  a  sacrifice ;  and  Lord  Palmerston 
himself,  it  was  ascertained,  regarded  Lord  John's  proposition 
to  concentrate  the  offices  held  by  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  and 
Mr.  Sidney  Herbert  in  one  person,  and  that  person  himself, 
as  impracticable,  it  being  impossible  for  any  one  man  to  do 
the  work  of  the  two  offices,  both  of  which  he  knew  well. 
Accordingly,  in  replying  to  Lord  John  Russell's  proposition, 
Lord  Aberdeen  stated  that,  whatever  question  might  fairly 
2  Letter  from  Lord  John  Russell  to  Earl  of  Aberdeen,  25th  November,  1854. 


1855  AND   THE   CABINET.  197 

have  been  entertained  in  the  first  instance  as  to  whether  Lord 
Palmer st on  or  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  were  the  better  fitted  for 
the  office, '  it  is  a  very  different  thing  to  displace  a  man,  who 
has  discharged  its  duties  honourably  and  ably,  merely  in  the 
belief  that  another  might  be  found  more  efficient.  Undoubt 
edly  the  public  service  must  be  the  first  object ;  but,  in  the 
absence  of  any  proved  defect  or  alleged  incapacity,  I  can  see 
no  sufficient  reason  for  such  a  change,  which,  indeed,  I  think 
is  forbidden  by  a  sense  of  justice  and  good  faith.' 3 

Finding  that  the  Cabinet,  including  Lord  Palmerston, 
concurred  in  the  opinion  thus  expressed,  Lord  John  Eussell 
intimated  his  intention  to  resign  at  the  end  of  the  short 
autumn  session  then  impending.  The  effect,  if  not  indeed 
the  object,  of  such  a  step,  it  was  felt,  must  be  to  drive  Lord 
Aberdeen  from  office.  Had  he  consulted  merely  personal  feel 
ing,  most  willingly  would  Lord  Aberdeen  have  resigned  its 
cares  to  the  hands  of  the  ex-Premier,  who  had  long  shown  so 
much  anxiety  to  undertake  them.  But  he  knew  well  that  his 
Cabinet  would  not  accept  Lord  John  Eussell  for  their  leader, 
and  to  abdicate  would  have  been  simply  to  throw  matters 
into  confusion.  He  therefore  determined  to  remain  at  his 
post ;  and,  if  Lord  John  Eussell  adhered  to  his  expressed  in 
tention,  to  replace  him  as  leader  of  the  House  of  Commons 
by  Lord  Palmerston, — an  arrangement  which  had  the  full 
concurrence  of  the  Sovereign.  On  maturer  reflection,  how 
ever,  Lord  John  did  not  push  matters  to  extremity,  and  on  the 
16th  of  December  Lord  Aberdeen  wrote  to  the  Queen,  that  in 
an  interview  with  him  that  day,  Lord  John  Eussell  '  admitted 
that  he  had  changed  his  intention,  and  attributed  this  change 
chiefly  to  a  conversation  yesterday  with  Lord  Panmure,  who, 
although  a  great  Military  Eeformer,  had  convinced  him  that 
the  present  was  not  a  fitting  time  for  the  proposed  changes.' 
Nothing  but  a  sense  of  public  duty  overbearing  all  personal 

3  Letter  from  Earl  of  Aberdeen  to  Lord  John  Kussell,  24th  November,  1854. 


198  MEETING   OF  PARLIAMENT.  1855 

considerations  could  have  reconciled  Lord  Aberdeen  to  accept 
this  sudden  submission  of  a  rebellious  colleague,  which  he 
felt  '  gave  no  security  for  a  single  week.'  But,  as  he  wrote 
in  the  same  letter,  '  the  scandal  of  a  rupture  would  be  so 
great,  and  the  evils  which  might  ensue  are  so  incalculable,  that 
he  was  sincerely  convinced  it  would  be  most  advantageous 
for  Her  Majesty's  service  and  the  public  to  endeavour,  by  a 
conciliatory  and  prudent  course  of  conduct,  to  preserve 
tranquillity  and  union  as  long  as  possible.' 

The  scandal,  as  events  proved,  was  not  to  be  concealed, 
nor  the  union  to  be  preserved;  but  knowing,  as  Her  Ma 
jesty  did,  how  severe  had  been  the  strain  upon  the  patience 
and  self-sacrifice  of  Lord  Aberdeen,  she  took  the  oppor 
tunity,  in  acknowledging  his  letter,  of  expressing  how  deeply 
she  was  e  impressed  by  the  admirable  temper,  forbearance, 
and  firmness  with  which  Lord  Aberdeen  had  conducted  the 
whole  of  this  very  difficult  and  annoying  transaction.' 4 

The  blow  which  had  menaced  the  existence  of  the  Ministry 
was  delayed,  but  not  averted.  It  came  from  the  same 
quarter,  and  at  a  time  and  in  a  manner  that  could  not  have 
been  foreseen. 

Parliament  re-assembled  on  the  23rd  of  January.  In  the 
month  which  had  elapsed  since  the  close  of  the  short  autumn 
Session,  the  tide  of  public  sympathy  and  indignation  had 
been  raised  to  the  flood  by  the  tidings  of  fresh  sufferings 

4  It  was  under  the  influence  of  this  feeling,  and  a  deep  impression  of  the 
injustice  of  the  attacks  to  which  Lord  Aberdeen  was  at  this  time  daily  ex 
posed,  that  the  Queen  wrote  to  him  on  the  10th  of  January,  1855  : 

'  Before  Parliament  meets,  for  probably  a  stormy  Session,  the  Queen  wishes 
to  give  a  public  testimony  of  her  continued  confidence  in  Lord  Aberdeen's 
administration  by  offering  him  the  vacant  Blue  Kibbon.  The  Queen  need  not 
add  a  word  on  her  personal  feelings  of  regard  and  friendship  for  Lord  Aber 
deen,  which  are  known  io'him  for  now  already  a  long  period  of  years.'  Lord 
Aberdeen  at  first  hesitated  to  accept  the  honour,  thinking  that  it  might  be 
better  bestowed  in  another  quarter  ;  but  he  ultimately  yielded,  on  Her  Majesty's 
representation  that  his  right  to  the  distinction  was  paramount.  He  was  in 
stalled  at  a  Chapter  of  the  Knights  of  the  Garter  on  the  7th  of  February. 


1855  LORD  JOHN  RUSSELL  RESIGNS.  199 

from  the  seat  of  war.  The  Ministry  were  straining  every 
nerve  to  apply  the  necessary  remedies,  but  they  were  well 
aware  that  on  the  meeting  of  Parliament  they  would  have  to 
face  a  formidable  attack,  and  probably  a  direct  motion  formally 
condemning  their  conduct  of  the  war.  '  Every  conversation 
in  every  street,  the  leading  articles  in  every  newspaper,  must 
have  satisfied  every  man  that  such  a  motion  was  to  be  looked 
for.'5  Meanwhile,  Lord  John  Eussell  remained  in  office,  and 
his  colleagues  heard  from  him  no  word  of  complaint  or  dis 
satisfaction  with  what  was  being  done. 

The  very  day  the  House  met,  several  notices  of  motion 
were  given,  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  the  state  of  the  army 
under  critical  review.  The  most  formidable  of  these  was 
one  by  Mr.  Eoebuck  for  the  appointment  of  a  Select  Com 
mittee  '  to  inquire  into  the  condition  of  our  army  before 
Sebastopol,  and  into  the  conduct  of  those  departments  of  the 
Government  whose  duty  it  has  been  to  minister  to  the 
wants  of  that  army.'  According  to  all  precedent, — prece 
dent  founded  upon  the  only  sound  principle  of  ministerial 
responsibility, — such  a  notice  should  have  been  the  signal  for 
the  Ministry  to  close  their  ranks,  and  to  vindicate  with  one 
accord  the  action  of  those  of  its  members,  on  whom  more 
particularly  the  conduct  of  the  war  had  devolved.  It  was, 
therefore,  with  a  feeling  of  no  ordinary  surprise  that  the 
Queen  and  the  Cabinet  received  the  intimation  next  day, 
that  Lord  John  Eussell  had  tendered  his  resignation,  because 
'  he  did  not  see  how  the  motion  was  to  be  resisted.' 

Lord  John's  letter,  written  on  the  day  the  notice  of  the 
motion  was  given,  Lord  Aberdeen  informed  the  Queen  per 
sonally  on  the  25th  inst.,  had  come  without  the  slightest 
notice  or  warning,  and  he  added  that,  whatever  the  cause 
for  it  might  be,  its  object  could  only  be  to  upset  the 
Government.  The  Duke  of  Newcastle,  he  continued,  on 

5  Speech  of  Lord  Palmerston  in  House  of  Commons,  31st  January,  1855. 


200  EMBARRASSMENT  OF  MINISTRY.  1855 

seeing  Lord  John's  letter,  had  at  once  proposed  that,  as  a 
victim  seemed  to  be  required  to  appease  the  public  for  the 
want  of  success  in  the  Crimea,  he  was  quite  ready  to  be  that 
victim,  and  entreated  Lord  Aberdeen  to  put  his  office  into 
the  hands  of  Lord  Palmerston,  who  possessed  the  confidence 
of  the  nation.  Lord  Palmerston,  while  admitting  that 
somehow  or  other  the  public  had  a  notion  that  he  would 
manage  the  War  Department  better  than  anybody  else,  pro 
tested  that,  as  for  himself,  he  did  not  expect  to  do  it  half  so 
well  as  the  Duke  of  Newcastle.  Still,  he  would  have  been 
prepared  to  try  it  rather  than  let  the  Government  be  dis 
solved,  which  he  considered  would  at  this  moment  be  a  real 
calamity  for  the  country.  When,  however,  the  matter  had 
come  before  the  Cabinet  that  day,  the  Whig  members  had 
not  seen  their  way  to  carry  on  the  Government  without  Lord 
John  Eussell,  and  had  come  to  the  determination  to  follow 
his  example  and  to  tender  their  resignations. 

Profoundly  impressed  by  the  difficulties  which  she  appre 
hended  in  the  formation  of  a  new  Ministry,  the  Queen  protested 
against  this  decision,  as  exposing  herself  and  the  country  to 
extreme  peril,  it  being  manifestly  impossible  to  change  the 
Government  at  such  a  moment  without  deranging  the  whole 
external  policy  in  diplomacy  and  war.  A  break-up  of  the 
Government  at  this  time  would  also  exhibit  to  the  world  the 
humiliating  spectacle  of  a  disorganisation  among  our  states 
men  at  home,  akin  to  that  which  had  become  too  palpable 
among  our  military  men  at  the  seat  of  war,  and  had  already 
tended  greatly  to  lower  our  prestige  in  the  eyes  of  Europe. 
Her  Majesty,  therefore,  urged  Lord  Aberdeen  to  make  a 
further  appeal  to  the  Cabinet  to  stand  by  her,  and  he  left 
her  promising  to  do  so  to  the  best  of  his  ability,  but  with 
little  hope  of  success.  The  appeal  was  not  made  in  vain, 
and  in  the  evening  of  the  same  day  Lord  Aberdeen  informed 
the  Queen,  that  the  Cabinet  had  agreed  to  retain  office  for 


1855  MR.  ROEBUCK'S  MOTION.  201 

the  present,  and  to  await  the  issue  of  the  debate  on  Mr. 
Eoebuck's  motion. 

This  much,  at  least,  it  must  have  been  clear  to  them,  upon 
reflection,  they  were  bound  to  do.  With  the  challenge 
thrown  down  to  them  by  Mr.  Eoebuck,  what  would  have 
been  said,  had  they  shrunk  from  facing  the  judgment 
of  Parliament  on  their  past  conduct?  The  considerations, 
which  were  expressed  by  Mr.  Gladstone  with  his  wonted 
eloquence  a  few  nights  afterwards,  were  too  obvious  to  be 
overlooked  : — 

'  If  they  had  no  spirit,  what  kind  of  epitaph  would  be  placed 
over  their  remains  ?  He  would  himself  have  thus  written  it : 
"  Here  lie  the  dishonoured  ashes  of  a  Ministry  which  found 
England  at  peace  and  left  it  at  war,  which  was  content  to  enjoy 
the  emoluments  of  office  and  to  wield  the  sceptre  of  power,  so 
long  as  no  man  had  the  courage  to  question  their  existence. 
They  saw  the  storm  gathering  over  the  country ;  they  heard 
the  agonising  accounts  which  were  almost  daily  received  of  the 
sick  and  wounded  in  the  East.  But  had  these  things  moved 
them  ?  As  soon,  however,  as  the  member  for  Sheffield  raised 
his  hand  to  point  the  thunderbolt,  they  shrank  away  conscience- 
stricken  ;  the  sense  of  guilt  overwhelmed  them,  and  to  escape 
from  punishment,  they  ran  away  from  duty."  ' 

If  the  Ministry  had  at  any  time  a  chance  of  success  in 
resisting  Mr.  Eoebuck's  motion,  they  could  have  had  none 
now,  when  so  important  a  member  of  their  body  as  Lord 
John  Eussell  had  given  countenance  to  the  worst  that  had 
been  said  against  them,  by  his  secession  from  their  ranks 
the  very  day  before  that  motion  was  to  be  discussed.  Such 
a  step  was  certain  to  be  construed  as  a  virtual  admission  that 
they  had  no  defence  to  make.  Nor  were  the  opponents  of 
the  Ministry,  however  little  they  might  approve  the  action 
of  Lord  John  in  abandoning  his  colleagues  in  the  moment 
of  danger,  slow  to  avail  themselves  of  the  advantage  which 
he  had  placed  within  their  grasp.  At  the  same  time,  he 


202  MR.   ROEBUCK'S  MOTION  CARRIED.  1855 

found  little  mercy  at  their  hands.  They  asked  with  un 
answerable  force,  if  the  system  of  military  administration 
were  so  bad  as  he  represented  it  to  be,  why  during  the  many 
years  when  he  had  himself  been  at  the  head  of  affairs, — why 
especially  in  1848  and  1849,  when  the  dread  of  a  French 
invasion  had  amounted  almost  to  a  panic, — had  he  made  no 
movement  towards  its  reform  ?  Could  he,  moreover,  when 
he  had  assented  to  the  measures  of  the  Government,  hope  to 
escape  from  bearing  his  share  of  discredit  for  these  measures, 
if  discredit  there  were,  by  leaving  his  colleagues  to  vindicate 
them  against  an  attack  for  which  he  had  himself  given  the 
cue  ?  Was  it  seemly  that  he  should  break  up  the  Ministry 
at  the  risk  of  discrediting  us  before  our  Allies,  weakening  us 
before  our  enemy,  and  endangering  the  league  with  Austria, 
so  important  for  the  future,  which  still  hung  wavering  in 
the  balance  ?  Not  even  friendly  critics  could  justify  the 
step  which  Lord  John  Russell  had  taken,  or  gainsay  the 
general  opinion,  that  it  was  not  calculated  either  to  confer 
lustre  upon  a  statesman  who  in  past  years  had  established 
many  claims  on  the  nation's  regard,  or  to  raise  the  character 
of  Parliamentary  government. 

The  debate  on  Mr.  Roebuck's  motion  extended  over  two 
nights,  ending  in  its  being  carried  by  a  majority  of  157, 
only  148  voting  with  Ministers,  and  305,  including  a  great 
number  of  the  Liberal  party,  voting  against  them.  The 
result  seemed  to  take  the  House  by  surprise ;  the  usual 
cheer  of  triumph  was  withheld,  and  in  its  stead  came  a 
murmur  of  amazement,  followed  by  derisive  laughter. 

Next  day  (30th  January)  Lord  Aberdeen  placed  the 
resignation  of  the  Cabinet  in  the  hands  of  the  Queen.  Lord 
Derby,  as  the  leader  of  the  party  which  was  numerically  the 
strongest,  and  by  whose  preponderance  of  votes  Mr.  Roebuck's 
motion  had  been  carried,  was  forthwith  summoned  to  the 
Palace.  He  came  next  day,  and  in  the  interview  which 


1 85 5  MINISTRY  RESIGN.  203 

ensued  disclaimed  all  responsibility  for  what  had  happened, 
saying  that  there  had  been  no  communication  with  Mr. 
Roebuck,  but  that  his  followers  could  not  help  voting  for  the 
motion,  when  Lord  John  Russell  told  them,  on  authority,  that 
there  was  the  most  ample  cause  for  inquiry,  and  the  whole 
country  cried  out  for  it.  His  party,  he  owned,  was  the  most 
compact,  mustering  in  number  about  250,  but  it  wanted  men 
capable  of  governing  the  House  of  Commons,  and,  unless 
strengthened  by  other  combinations,  he  could  not  hope  to  pre 
sent  an  administration  that  would  be  accepted  by  the  country, 
He  was  aware  that  the  whole  country  cried  out  for  Lord 
Palmerston  as  the  only  fit  man  to  carry  on  the  war  with 
success,  and  he  acknowledged  the  necessity  of  having  him 
in  the  Ministry,  were  it  only  to  satisfy  the  French  Grovern- 
ment,  whose  confidence  it  was  of  the  greatest  importance  to 
secure.  Lord  Derby  did  not  concur  in  the  general  opinion 
as  to  Lord  Palmerston's  fitness  for  the  War  Office,  but  he 
might  have  the  lead  of  the  House  of  Commons,  which  Mr. 
Disraeli  was  ready  to  give  up  to  him.  At  the  same  time, 
even  if  Lord  Palmerston  joined  him,  he  could  not  hope  to 
meet  the  House  of  Commons  without  the  assistance  of  the 
Peelites.  LTnless,  therefore,  he  could  obtain  this,  he  could 
not  undertake  the  task  of  forming  a  government,  and  he  sug 
gested  that  Her  Majesty  might  in  that  event  attempt  other 
combinations  with  Lord  John  Russell,  and  Lord  Lansdowne, 
and  their  friends.  '  Should  all  attempts  fail,  however,  he 
would  be  ready  to  come  forward  to  the  rescue  of  the  country 
with  such  materials  as  he  had,  but  it  would  be  "  a  desperate 
attempt."  ' 

By  the  next  day  Lord  Derby  had  ascertained,  that  he  could 
not  count  on  more  than  '  an  independent  support '  from  Lord 
Palmerston,  Mr.  Gladstone,  and  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert,  which, 
he  told  the  Queen,  reminded  him  of  the  definition  of  the 
independent  M.P.,  viz.  one  that  could  not  be  depended  on. 


204  MINISTERIAL   CRISIS.  1855 

He   could   not,    therefore,  undertake    the    task   which   Her 
Majesty  had  proposed  to  him. 

'  After  Lord  Derby  had  taken  leave  of  the  Queen,'  the 
Prince  records  in  a  Memorandum  the  same  day,  '  with 
reiterated  assurances  of  gratitude  and  loyalty,  I  had  a  long 
conversation  with  him,  pointing  out  to  him  facts  with  which 
he  could  not  be  familiar,  concerning  our  army  in  the  Crimea, 
our  relations  with  our  ally,  negotiations  with  the  -  Grerman 
Courts,  the  state  of  public  men  and  the  press  in  this  country, 
which  convinced  me  that  the  country  was  in  a  crisis  of  the 
greatest  magnitude,  and  the  Crown  in  the  greatest  difficulties, 
and  that  these  could  not  be  successfully  overcome,  unless 
political  parties  would  manifest  a  little  more  patriotism  than 
hitherto.  They  behaved  a  good  deal  like  his  independent 
M.P.,  and  tried  to  aggravate  every  little  mishap  in  order  to 
snatch  party  advantages  out  of  it.5  The  Prince  communicated 
to  Lord  Derby  some  striking  illustrations  of  the  effect  which 
had  thus  been  produced  in  lowering  us  in  the  eyes  of  foreign 
Governments,  Lord  Derby  rejoined  by  quoting  a  remark  of 
Count  \Valewski's  which  had  reached  him  as  to  our  position 
at  the  impending  Vienna  Conferences  : — '  What  influence  can 
a  country  like  England  pretend  to  exercise,  which  has  no 
army  and  no  government  ? '  'I  told  him,'  says  the  Prince, 
4  Walewski  was  right,  as  every  one  here  took  pains  to  prove, 
that  we  had  no  army,  and  to  contrive  that  the  Queen  should 
have  no  government.  He  promised  to  do  \\hat  he  could 
to  relieve  the  difficulties  of  the  country.' 6 

6  We  may  cite,  as  one  indication  among  many,  which  reached  the  Prince 
at  this  time,  of  the  construction  put  upon  the  stories  so  lavishly  published  by 
ourselves  of  the  state  of  matters  in  the  English  camp,  the  report  from  one  of 
the  shrewdest  observers  in  Europe,  who  was,  moreover,  in  a  position  to  hear  what 
was  said  in  the  most  influential  quarters  abroad.  'Everywhere  the  remark  is 
to  be  heard — "  England  as  a  great  Power  is  to  be  feared  no  more.  She  never 
can  find  men  enough  to  carry  on  the  war  effectually,  although  she  may  effect 
great  exploits."  The  Russians  everywhere  are  in  the  highest  spirits.  The 
Emperor  Nicholas  has  written  to  his  sister,  "She  may  rely  on  his  assurance, 
Sebastopol  will  never  be  taken."  ' 


1855    QUEEN  CONFERS  WITH  LORD  LANSDOWNE.    205 

The  Queen  now  turned  to  Lord  Lansdowne  for  assistance,, 
but  all  he  had  to  say  merely  served  to  show  that  Her  Majesty 
had  only  too  well  foreseen  the  difficulties  that  must  arise 
from  the  displacement  of  the  late  Administration.  Lord 
John  Eussell,  it  seemed,  was  under  the  belief — a  belief  not 
shared,  however,  by  Lord  Lansdowne — that  he  could  form  a 
strong  Ministry,  even  without  the  support  of  the  Peelites. 
That  they  would  not  serve  under  him  was  certain ;  indeed, 
it  was  more  than  doubtful  whether  they  would  even  serve  with 
him.  Again,  Lord  Palmerston,  Lord  Lansdowne  believed, 
would  not  take  office  under  Lord  John  Eussell,  but  would 
himself  be  ready  to  form  an  Administration.'  This,  however, 
unless  it  included  Lord  John,  would  certainly  fall  to  pieces. 
Both  would  be  willing  to  serve  under  Lord  Lansdowne  him 
self,  but  he  was  seventy-five,  crippled  with  the  gout,  and 
could  not  undertake  such  a  task  except  for  a  few  months, 
when  the  Administration  would  again  break  down,  and  all 
be  again  confusion.  As  matters  stood,  no  effective  combina 
tion  could,  in  his  opinion,  be  formed  until  Lord  John  Russell 
had  the  opportunity  afforded  him  of  trying  what  he  could  do. 
He  would  undoubtedly  fail,  but  his  failure  would  at  least 
silence  the  opposition  which  would  otherwise  be  raised  by 
his  followers  and  himself.  In  these  circumstances  the  Queen 
considered  that  one  course  was  alone  open  to  her.  Next  to 
Lord  Derby  and  his  followers,  Lord  John  Russell  had  caused 
the  overthrow  of  the  late  Government.  Lord  Derby  had 
declined  to  undertake  the  task  of  organising  a  Cabinet  to 
succeed  them,  and,  according  to  all  constitutional  usage,  she 
was  now  entitled  and  bound  to  ask  Lord  John  Russell  to 
extricate  her  from  her  present  embarrassment. 

In  adopting  this  course,  however,  the  Queen  thought  it 
right  to  place  on  record  the  reasons  which  had  influenced 
her  determination.  She  accordingly  wrote  to  Lord  John 
Russell  as  follows  : — 


206  LORD  RUSSELL  CHARGED  WITH  FORMATION  1855 

'  Buckingham  Palace,  2nd  February,  1855. 

*  The  Queen  has  just  seen  Lord  Lansdowne  after  his  return 
from  his  conference  with  Lord  John  Eussell  and  Lord 
Palmerston.  As  moments  are  precious,  and  the  time  is 
rolling  on  without  the  various  consultations  which  Lord 
Lansdowne  has  had  the  kindness  and  patience  to  hold  with 
the  various  persons  composing  the  Queen's  late  Grovernment 
having  led  to  any  positive  result,  she  feels  that  she  ought  to 
entrust  some  one  of  them  with  the  distinct  commission  to 
attempt  the  formation  of  a  Grovernment.  The  Queen 
addresses  herself  in  this  instance  to  Lord  John  Eussell  as  the 
person  who  may  be  considered  to  have  contributed  to  the 
vote  of  the  House  of  Commons  which  displaced  her  last 
Government,  and  hopes  that  he  will  be  able  to  present  to 
her  such  a  Grovernment  as  will  give  a  fair  promise  success 
fully  to  overcome  the  great  difficulties  in  which  the  country 
is  placed. 

'  It  would  give  her  particular  satisfaction  if  Lord  Palmer 
ston  would  join  in  this  formation.' 

Lord  Palmerston  was  much  gratified  by  the  wish  thus  ex 
pressed  in  regard  to  himself,  proving  as  it  did  that  the 
unpleasant  incidents  of  former  years  were  not  remembered 
by  the  Sovereign  to  his  disadvantage.  In  an  audience, 
which  he  requested  in  consequence  of  the  message  conveyed 
to  him  through  Lord  John  Eussell,  he  let  this  be  seen.  He 
assured  the  Queen  of  his  readiness  to  serve  Her  Majesty  in 
any  way  he  could  under  the  present  difficulties.  He  had  no 
objection  to  take  office  under  Lord  John,  but  having  a  choice 
between  the  War  Department  and  the  lead  of  the  House  of 
Commons,  he  declared  his  preference  for  the  latter.  The 
duties  of  both  offices  were,  in  his  opinion,  too  heavy  for  one 
man  to  perform.  It  would,  however,  be  an  essential  condi- 


1855  OF  MINISTRY,  BUT  FAILS.  207 

tion  that  Lord  Clarendon  should  remain  at  the  Foreign 
Office. 

Her  Majesty  had  by  this  time  learned  from  Lord  John 
Eussell  himself  that  he  too  considered  the  co-operation  of 
Lord  Clarendon  to  be  indispensable.  She  therefore  sent  for 
him  to  ascertain  whether  it  might  be  hoped  for.  From  what 
passed  it  was  manifest  that  it  could  not.  Lord  Clarendon 
considered  that  it  was  idle  in  Lord  John  to  attempt  to  form 
a  Government.  No  one,  either  of  his  own  party  in  the  late 
Government,  or  of  the  general  public,  believed  he  could  do 
so.  Even  if  he  did  get  one  together,  it  would  be  '  still-born ' 
and  '  trodden  under  foot '  the  very  first  day  of  its  existence, 
composed  as  it  would  be  of  the  same  men  who  had  been 
bankrupt  in  1852,  minus  two  of  the  best  of  their  number — 
viz.  Lord  Lansdowne  and  Lord  Grey — and  with  the  head  of  it 
irretrievably  damaged  in  the  eyes  of  the  public  by  his  recent 
proceedings.  Were  he  (Lord  Clarendon)  to  remain  at  the 
Foreign  Office,  his  language  to  foreign  countries  would  lose 
all  its  weight,  because  it  would  be  known  not  to  rest  upon 
public  opinion.  What,  moreover,  would  be  thought  of  him 
were  he  to  accept  as  his  leader  the  man  who,  while  in  the  late 
Ministry,  had  steadily  worked  for  the  overthrow  of  Lord 
Aberdeen  and  his  Peelite  colleagues,  and  for  the  reinstatement 
in  office  of  an  exclusively  Whig  Ministry  ?  He  would  be  no 
party  to  such  an  arrangement.  The  conduct  of  all  his  col 
leagues  towards  himself  had  been  most  straightforward  and 
honourable,  and  loyalty  to  them  forbade  any  alliance  with 
one  of  whom  they  had  such  well-founded  reason  to  complain. 

Meanwhile,  the  conviction  was  being  painfully  brought 
home  to  Lord  John  Eussell  that  the  task  which  he  had 
undertaken  with  alacrity  was  desperate.  He  probably  neither 
hoped  nor  greatly  cared  to  secure  the  adhesion  of  the  Peelites, 
but  when  one  by  one  his  own  familiar  friends — Sir  George 
Grey,  Lord  Lansdowne,  and  Lord  Clarendon — declined  to 


208  LORD  PALMERSTON  SUCCEEDS  1855 

place  themselves  under  his  lead,  his  eyes  were  opened  to  the 
fact,  of  which  they  had  all  along  been  fully  conscious,  that  his 
political  position  was  for  the  moment  too  gravely  compro 
mised  for  any  stable  Ministry  to  be  established  under  his 
guidance.  The  true  state  of  affairs  was  quickly  ascertained, 
and  he  had  no  alternative  but  to  resign  into  Her  Majesty's 
hands  the  task  with  which  he  had  been  entrusted  less  than 
forty-eight  hours  before. 

The  Ministerial  crisis  had  practically  begun  with  his  resigna 
tion  of  office  on  the  23rd  of  January.  The  4th  of  February 
was  now  reached,  and  the  country  was  still  without  a  Govern 
ment.  This  was  producing  the  worst  effect  abroad.  That 
very  day  Lord  Cowley  wrote  from  Paris  to  Lord  Clarendon : 
4 1  wish  to  heaven  that  a  Government  of  some  sort  was 
formed.  I  cannot  exaggerate  the  mischief  that  the  state  of 
things  is  causing  to  our  reputation  as  a  nation,  or  the  dis 
repute  into  which  it  is  bringing  Constitutional  Government.' 

In  this  dilemma  the  Queen  lost  not  a  moment  in  address 
ing  herself  to  Lord  Palmerston,  and  asking  him  whether  he 
could  '  undertake  to  form  an  Administration  which  would 
command  the  confidence  of  Parliament  and  efficiently  con 
duct  public  affairs  in  this  momentous  crisis.'  Lord  Palmer 
ston  had  throughout  this  anxious  time  shown  so  genuine  a 
public  spirit  that,  even  if  his  own  great  ability  and  expe 
rience,  as  well  as  the  public  voice,  had  not  designated  him 
as  worthy  of  the  trust,  the  Queen  would  have  felt  bound  to 
place  it  in  his  hands.7  It  was  at  once  accepted,  and  in  the 
course  of  the  next  day  he  reported  that  Lord  Lansdowne,  the 
Lord  Chancellor,  Lord  Clarendon,  Lord  Granville,  Sir  George 
Grey,  and  Sir  Charles  Wood  had  agreed  to  take  office  under 


7  '  I  am.  backed  by  the  general  opinion  of  the  whole  country,  and  I  have  no 
reason  to  complain  of  the  least  want  of  cordiality  or  confidence  on  the  part  of 
the  Court.' — Lord  Palmerston  to  his  brother,  Sir  William  Temple,  15th  Feb 
ruary,  1855.  Ashley's  Life  of  Lord  Palmerston,  vol.  ii.  p.  771. 


1855  IN  FORMING  A   MINISTRY.  209 

him.  Mr.  Gladstone,  Mr.  S.  Herbert,  and  the  Duke  of 
Argyle  had  declined,  on  the  ground  of  personal  and  political 
attachment  to  Lord  Aberdeen,  against  whom,  as  well  as 
against  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  they  considered  the  adverse 
vote  of  the  House  of  Commons  to  have  been  levelled.  Both 
these  noblemen,  however,  on  hearing  of  their  refusal,  had 
exerted  themselves  strongly  to  prevail  upon  their  friends  to 
change  their  opinion ;  and  next  day  the  Queen  had  tke 
satisfaction  to  learn  from  Lord  Aberdeen  that  they  had 
yielded  to  his  representations,  and  placed  themselves  in  his 
hands. 

Lord  Palmerston  had  good  reason  to  appreciate  the  gene^ 
rosity  with  which  his  old  chief  had  interposed  to  remove 
this  formidable  impediment  to  his  success.8  Nor  was  Her 
Majesty  less  grateful;  and,  in  her  letter  (6th  February) 
announcing  to  Lord  Aberdeen  that  Lord  Palmerston  had 
just  kissed  hands  upon  his  appointment  as  Premier,  she  told 
him  that  she  was  now  '  relieved  from  great  anxiety  and 
difficulty,  and  felt  that  she  owed  much  to  Lord  Aberdeen's 
kind  and  disinterested  assistance.' 

With  the  exception  of  Lord  Aberdeen,  the  Duke  of  New- 

8  Mr.  Ashley  quotes  (vol.  ii.  p.  80)  a  letter  of  Lord  Palmerston  to  Lord  Aber 
deen,  which  is  the  best  of  all  evidence  that  the  charge  against  Lord  Aberdeen, 
that  he  had  driven  Lord  Palmerston  from  office  in  December  1853,  which  has 
recently  been  advanced  by  Mr.  Kinglake,  is  unfounded  (Invasion  of  tlie  Crimea, 
vol.  ii.  pp.  28,  29,  30.).  "Would  Lord  Aberdeen  have  tried  to  install  as  Premier 
a  man  whom,  a  year  before,  he  had '  driven '  from  office,  or  would  Lord  Palmerston 
have  not  merely  accepted,  but  courted  the  help  of  the  man  who  had  so  treated 
him?  See  how  he  writes: — '  12th  February,  1855.  I  called  at  your  door  yes 
terday,  and  was  sorry  not  to  have  found  you  at  home.  I  wanted  to  say  how 
much  I  have  to  thank  you  for  your  handsome  conduct,  and  for  your  friendly 
and  energetic  exertions  in  removing  the  difficulties  which  I  at  first  experienced 
in  my  endeavour  to  reconstitute  the  Government  in  such  a  manner  as  to  combine 
in  it  all  the  strength  which,  in  the  circumstances  of  the  moment,  it  was  possible 
to  bring  together.  I  well  know,  that  without  your  assistance  that  most  desir 
able  and  important  eombination  could  not  have  been  effected.' — Life  of  Lord 
Palmerston,  vol.  ii.  p.  80. 

VOL.  III.  P 


2io          ANNIVERSARY  OF  ROYAL  MARRIAGE.          1855 

castle,  and  Lord  John  Russell,  the  new  Cabinet  was  identical 
with  that  which  it  succeeded,  the  only  material  addition 
being  Lord  Panmure  as  Secretary  at  War.  It  was  hoped 
that  the  Grovernment  would  now  be  free  to  address  them 
selves  to  the  great  questions  of  the  hour, — the  vigorous 
prosecution  of  the  war,  and  the  relief  of  the  army,  of  which 
the  worst  accounts  continued  to  be  received.  Thus,  when 
the  10th  of  February  came  round, — the  fifteenth  anniversary 
of  the  Royal  marriage, — the  anxieties  of  the  last  few  weeks 
had  been  somewhat  relieved.  Again  the  Royal  children  had 
a  pleasant  festival  ready  for  the  day,  and  the  Prince  records 
that  '  in  the  evening  they  performed  their  piece  "  Little 
Red  Riding  Hood  "  extremely  well,  followed  by  a  tableau, 
and  occasional  verses  spoken  by  Alice.'  Among  the  con 
gratulations  which  reached  Her  Majesty,  those  of  Colonel 
Phipps,  the  Keeper  of  the  Queen's  Privy  Purse,  and  also 
Treasurer  to  the  Prince,  had  a  special  value,  as  coming  from 
one  who  had  intimate  reason  to  know  the  noble  qualities  of 
the  Prince  : — 

'  It  is  hardly  necessary,'  he  wrote,  '  to  declare  how  sincere 
must  be  the  congratulations  to  Your  Majesty  personally  from 
any  one  who  has  the  happiness  to  be  admitted  to  a  confidential 
position  in  Your  Majesty's  family.  But  it  is  as  an  Englishman 
that  Colonel  Phipps  feels  he  has  almost  a  claim  to  express  his 
feelings  of  rejoicing  upon  the  day  which  conferred  upon  his 
country  the  inestimable  blessing  of  the  presence  of  the  Prince 
in  the  position  he  holds.  Colonel  Phipps  believes,  not  from  his 
heart  merely,  but  from  more  sober  experience  and  matured 
judgment,  that  it  is  perfectly  impossible  to  estimate  the  value 
of  his  Royal  Highness  as  Consort  to  Your  Majesty. 

'  It  would  be  much  to  deserve  tbe  gratitude  of  a  nation,  that 
the  family  of  Your  Majesty  exhibits  a  pattern  which  may  be 
well  imitated  by  the  best  of  Your  Majesty's  subjects  ;  but  it  is 
only  those  who  come  into  contact  with  his  Royal  Highness, 
wlio  are  fully  aware  of  the  amount  of  ability  and  judgment, 
joined  to  the  most  undeviating  singleness  of  purpose  and  probity 


i855    MR.    ROEBUCK'S  COMMITTEE   OF  INQUIRY.      211 

of  mind,  by  which  Your  Majesty  is  assisted  upon  occasions  like 
that  which  has  just  passed.' 

When  it  was  found  that  the  new  Cabinet  was  virtually 
the  same  as  Lord  Aberdeen's,  those  who  had  been  most  active 
in  displacing  him  were  far  from  being  conciliated.  It  had 
been  thought  that  they  would  have  been  appeased  by  the 
sacrifice  of  the  two  chief  objects  of  their  hostility,  and  that 
no  further  action  would  be  taken  upon  Mr.  Roebuck's 
motion.  How  such  a  belief  ever  came  to  be  entertained  it 
is  not  easy  to  see.  Having  declared  the  necessity  for 
inquiry  by  overwhelming  numbers,  what  had  occurred  to 
make  the  House  of  Commons  recede  from  its  decision  ? 
Lord  Aberdeen  and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  had  indeed  been 
driven  from  office.  But  the  condition  of  affairs  remained 
the  same,  with  the  difference  that  the  statements  which 
they  had  made  to  the  House  of  Lords  in  announcing  their 
resignation  on  the  1st  of  February  had  created  a  revulsion 
of  feeling  in  their  favour.  Doubts  had  even  begun  to  arise 
in  the  minds  of  their  bitterest  opponents,  whether  they  had 
not  been  mistaken  in  attacking  the  men,  when  it  was  not 
they  that  were  in  fault,  but  the  system  by  which  they  were 
hampered.  In  this  mood  the  majority  were  not  likely  to  listen 
to  arguments,  however  sound  or  eloquently  enforced,  that  it 
was  unconstitutional  to  transfer  to  a  committee  of  the  House 
of  Commons  what  were  strictly  the  functions  of  the  Executive. 
An  appeal  to  the  House  by  Lord  Palmerston  on  the  16th  of 
February,  if  not  to  reverse,  at  least  to  suspend  its  decision, 
was  met  by  the  most  decided  indications  that  it  was  deter 
mined  to  adhere  to  its  former  resolution,  and  Mr.  Roebuck 
gave  notice  of  his  intention  to  move  the  appointment  of  his 
Committee  forthwith.  After  this,  resistance  was  impossible, 
as  it  could  only  be  followed  by  a  defeat  and  a  fresh  Minis 
terial  crisis.  The  country  was  bent  on  having  the  inquiry, 
and  therefore  it  was  that  the  House  of  Commons  insisted 

p  2 


212  PEELITES  RETIRE  FROM  CABINET.  1855 

upon  it,  and  not  from  hostility  to  the  new  Ministry. ,  Had 
such  hostility  existed,  the  House,  it  was  felt,  would  not  have 
voted,  as  they  had  just  done,  largely  increased  Estimates 
without  a  murmur  for  the  purpose  of  increasing  the  strength 
of  both  army  and  navy. 

These  considerations,  however,  although  they  prevailed 
with  the  majority  of  the  Cabinet,  were  not  sufficient  to 
outweigh  the  objections  of  Sir  James  Graham,  Mr.  Glad 
stone,  and  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert  to  the  proposed  investiga 
tion,  which  they  regarded  as  a  dangerous  breach  of  a  great 
constitutional  principle,  after  which  it  would  be  impossible 
for  the  Executive  ever  again  to  oppose  any  demand  for 
inquiry,  however  unreasonable.  They  therefore  announced 
their  intention  to  retire  from  the  Ministry, — a  step,  perhaps, 
less  to  be  wondered  at,  seeing  that  they  had  joined  it  with 
manifest  reluctance,  and  probably  felt  that  they  were  re 
garded  by  the  Whig  party,  on  which  the  strength  of  the 
Cabinet  mainly  rested,  with  all  the  jealousy  of  men  sore  at 
being  kept  out  of  office  by  those  whom  they  scarcely  re 
garded  as  friends.  In  this  resolution  they  were  followed  by 
Mr.  Cardwell ;  and,  within  a  fortnight  from  the  formation  of 
Lord  Palmerston's  G-overnment,  the  country  learned,  with 
surprise  and  mortification,  that  it  was  broken  up  by  the  se 
cession  of  several  of  its  most  influential  members. 

On  the  23rd,  the  usual  explanations  were  made  to  the  House 
of  Commons.  From  these  it  was  easy  to  gather  that,  beyond 
the  immediate  question  in  dispute,  there  were  wide  diver 
gences  of  opinion  between  the  Government  and  its  late  col 
leagues,  which  must  speedily  have  drawn  them  further  apart, 
and  which,  indeed,  soon  afterwards  took  the  form  of  decided 
hostility.  Lord  Palmerston  was  able,  however,  to  triumph 
over  the  difficulties  which  had  come  upon  him  so  unex 
pectedly,  and  by  the  28th  the  names  of  Sir  G-eorge  Cornewall 
Lewis,  Lord  John  Eussell,  Mr.  Vernon  Smith,  and  Lord 


1 85 5  EXCITED   STATE   OF  PUBLIC  MIND.  213 

Stanley  of  Aldeiiey  were  announced  as  having  been  selected 
to  fill  the  vacant  places.9 

If  weakened  by  the  change  in  intellectual  vigour  and 
administrative  experience,  the  Cabinet  had  at  least  gained 
in  unity  of  purpose  and  action.  In  the  present  crisis  this 
was  of  primary  importance,  as  giving  assurance  of  that 
resolute  and  energetic  action,  which  could  alone  restore  con 
fidence  and  tranquillity  to  the  country.  How  necessary  this 
was  may  be  inferred  from  the  following  passage  in  a  letter 
from  the  Prince  to  the  Dowager  Duchess  of  Coburg,  written 
on  the  23rd,  when  the  excitement  occasioned  by  the  seces 
sion  of  Sir  James  Graham  and  his  friends  was  at  its 
height : — 

(  Things  have  gone  mad  here,  the  political  world  is  quite 
crazy,  and  the  Court  is  the  only  institution  which  does  not 
lose  its  tranquil  bearing.  Nevertheless,  the  people  will  soon 
come  to  their  senses  again.  The  press,  which  for  its  own 
ends  exaggerates  the  sufferings  of  our  troops  in  the  Crimea, 
has  made  the  nation  quite  furious.  It  is  bent  upon  punish 
ing  all  and  sundry,  and  cannot  find  the  right  person,  because 
he  does  not  exist.' 

In  the  midst  of  all  the  pressure  of  political  cares  at  home 
and  abroad,  the  Prince  still  found  time  to  think  of  the  to 
him  more  congenial  arts  of  peace.  On  the  28th  his  Diary 
records  that  he  presided  that  day  at  a  meeting  of  the  Exhi 
bition  Commission,  and  drew  up  for  the  Government  a  proposal 
to  purchase  a  portion  of  the  Bernal  Collection — a  purchase, 
that  laid  the  foundation  of  the  great  Museum  of  Art  and 
Manufactures  at  South  Kensington,  which  has  now  become 
one  of  the  most  important  and  interesting  in  Europe. 

9  The  narrative  of  the  Ministerial  crisis  given  in  this  Chapter  has  been 
prepared  from  very  elaborate  Memoranda,  drawn  up  by  the  Prince  from  day 
to  day,  while  it  lasted. 


214 


CHAPTER   LXL 

THE  Prince  had  good  reason  for  what  he  said  when  he  wrote 
that,  while  the  nation  and  political  parties  were  in  a  state  of 
frenzy  about  the  miseries  of  our  army  in  the  Crimea,  the 
Court  was  '  the  only  institution  which  had  not  lost  its  tranquil 
bearing.'  This  was  due  neither  to  want  of  sympathy  with 
the  sufferings  of  our  soldiers,  nor  to  ignorance  of  the  causes 
from  which  they  sprang.  But  the  very  fulness  of  the  infor 
mation  of  which  the  Queen  and  Prince  were  in  possession 
enabled  them  to  estimate  these  causes  truly,  to  measure  the 
extent  of  the  evils  they  had  produced,  and,  at  the  same  time, 
to  feel  assured  that  they  were  not  only  remediable,  but  that 
the  remedies  were  now  in  course  of  being  energetically  applied. 
If  we  had  suffered,  our  Allies,  despite  the  superiority  of 
their  army  system,  on  which  the  English  journals  dwelt  with 
exaggerated  emphasis,  had  suffered  also.  Their  forces  en 
gaged  in  the  siege  being  so  much  larger  than  ours,  the 
burden  of  the  labour  in  the  trenches,  which  had  done  so 
much  to  exhaust  the  already  enfeebled  strength  of  our  men, 
had  fallen  lightly  upon  theirs.1  They  had  also  been  put 
to  fewer  straits  for  supplies,  having  two  harbours  to  draw 
them  from,  both  nearer  to  their  lines  than  Balaclava  was  to 

1  In  a  letter  among  the  Prince's  papers  from  Miss  Nightingale,  writing 
from  Balaclava  to  a  friend,  on  the  10th  of  May,  1855,  she  says: — 'Fancy 
working  five  nights  out  of  seven  in  the  trenches  !  Fancy  being  thirty-six 
hours  in  them  at  a  stretch,  as  they  were  all  December,  lying  down,  or  half 
lying  down,  often  forty-eight  hours,  with  no  food  but  raw  salt  pork  sprinkled 
with  sugar,  rum,  and  biscuit ;  nothing  hot,  because  the  exhausted  soldier  could 
not  collect  his  own  fuel,  as  he  was  expected  to  do,  to  cook  his  own  ration  : 
and  fancy  through  all  this  the  army  preserving  their  courage  and  patience  as 


i855  STATE   OF  BESIEGING  ARMY.  215 

ours,  and  both  approached  by  good  roads.  Still  they,  no 
less  than  ourselves,  had  run  short  of  forage;  their  loss  in 
horses  had  consequently  been  enormous.  Their  rations  were 
upon  occasion  so  short,  that  the  soldiers  frequently  bought 
biscuits  from  our  men,  and  the  sickness  and  mortality  in 
their  camp  had  been  much  greater  than  in  our  own.  Even 
with  the  advantage  of  an  organised  transport  and  field- 
hospital  service,  they  had  found  their  system  fail  them  in 
many  respects  under  the  peculiar  circumstances  of  the  siege. 
Little,  however,  was  known  about  their  shortcomings  outside 
the  highest  official  circles,  for  they  had  not  '  among  them  a 
privileged  set  of  censors  to  put  the  worst  construction  upon 
every  inconvenience  and  evil ;  nor  had  they  a  class  of  officers 
who  think  it  becoming  to  fill  the  public  prints  with  exagge 
ration  and  abuse.' 2 

While  writers  in  England  were  doing  their  utmost  to  dis 
credit  those  on  whom  the  responsibility  of  conducting  the 
siege  rested,  and  to  persuade  our  far  from  friendly  critics 
throughout  Europe  that  England's  military  power  was  no 
longer  to  be  feared,3  such  was  not  the  view  taken  by  the 
ablest  French  officers  upon  the  spot.  Thus,  for  example, 
Colonel  Vico,  the  French  Commissioner  attached  to  Lord 
Raglan's  Staff,4  writing  home  to  Marshal  Vaillant  from  before 
Sebastopol,  on  the  23rd  of  January,  1855,  says,  in  allusion 

they  have  done,  and  being  now  eager  (the  old  ones  more  than  the  young  ones) 
to  be  led  even  into  the  trenches.  There  was  something  sublime  in  the 
spectacle.' 

2  Memorandum  by  Sir  John  Burgoyne  given  to  Lord  Raglan,  dated  '  Camp 
before  Sebastopol,  7th  February,  1855.' — Wrottesley's  Life  and  Correspondence 
of  Sir  J.  Burgoyne,  vol.  ii.  p.  214. 

3  See  note  3,  p.  204  ante.    Was  it  to  be  wondered  at,  if  foreigners  came  to  such 
conclusions,  when  in  Parliament  such  language  as  this  was  not  uncommon  ? — '  The 
country  stood  on  the  brink  of  ruin — it  had  fallen  into  the  abyss  of  disgrace, 
and  become  the  laughing-stock  of  Europe.' — Mr.  Layard,  in  House  of  Commons, 
19th  February,  1855. 

4  This   distinguished  officer  died,  deeply  regretted,  at  General  Simpson's 
head-quarters,  of  cholera,  on  the  10th  of  July,  1855,  a  few  days  after  Lord 
Raglan  himself. 


2i6  IMPROVED  POSITION  OF  AFFAIRS  1855 

to  the  attacks  on  Lord  Raglan  and  his  staff  by  a  portion  of 
the  English  press,  that  the  state  of  things  complained  of 

4  Is  the  fault  of  the  system,  and  not  that  of  the  Commander-in- 
chief  or  of  those  about  him.  This  is  felt  to  be  the  truth  by  every 
body  here.  ...  To  judge  by  what  is  said  in  the  English  journals, 
the  situation  of  our  allies  is  much  worse  than  it  is  in  fact — and 
advantage  is  sure  to  be  taken  of  those  misrepresentations  to 
revive  the  spirits  (remrnier  le  moral)  of  the  Russian  army.  The 
truth  is,  that  they  have  suffered  more  than  we  have  for  the 
reasons  I  have  already  explained '  [want  of  transport,  and  of  a 
corps  d'intendance,  &c.],  '  and  for  want  of  means  of  transport  they 
have  found  it  impossible  to  be  in  the  same  state  of  forwardness 
as  ourselves.  But  their  army  is  very  far  from  having  ceased  to 
be  of  any  practical  help,  as  some  would  have  it  be  believed,  and, 
were  the  enemy  to  appear,  he  would  find  they  would  give  him 
quite  enough  to  do  (il  trouverait  lien  a  qui  purler  de  leur  cote).'' 

By  the  time  the  mingled  indignation  and  despondency  at 
home  had  culminated  in  the  vote  which  put  an  end  to  Lord 
Aberdeen's  Administration,  a  decided  improvement  had  taken 
place  in  the  condition  of  the  army  before  Sebastopol.  Con 
siderable  reinforcements  had  arrived,  picquet  and  trench 
duty  had  been  more  widely  distributed,  the  men  were  thus 
better  rested,  in  better  health,  in  better  spirits,  more  warmly 
clad  and  better  housed.  The  railway  was  making  progress, 
and  now  the  fine  weather  had  begun  to  set  in.  The  tidings 
of  the  despondency  which  prevailed  in  England,  therefore, 
came  with  surprise  upon  the  army  itself,  and  they  read  with 
astonishment,  not  unmixed  with  bitterness,  of  the  sugges 
tions  which  were  freely  made  by  the  press,  that  the  only  way 
to  save  them  was  to  put  them  under  the  command  of  the 
French  for  the  purposes  of  reorganisation. 

*  The  statements  made  by  the  press  in  England,'  Sir  John 
Burgoyne  writes  from  the  camp  on  the  13th  of  March,  '  repeated 
in  Parliament,  and  uncontradicted  by  Ministers,  of  the  dreadful 
condition  of  this  army,  strike  us  with  astonishment  here.  ...  It 
has  been  stated  in  the  newspapers,  and  by  many  members  of 


i855  BEFORE  SEVASTOPOL.  217 

Parliament,  that  by  the  middle  of  March,  or  in  about  a  month 
from  the  period  of  their  speeches  in  February,  there  would  be  no 
British  army  left  in  the  Crimea.  ...  It  is  the  fashion  to  talk  of 
the  army  as  consisting  of  10,000  or  12,000  men.  ...  As  soon  as 
a  new  organisation  for  the  field  shall  come  into  operation,  .... 
you  will  find  an  army  of  at  least  24,000  or  25,000  men  ready  to 
take  the  field,  from  "  the  miserable  remnants  of  tlie  British  army 
now  in  the  Crimea;  "  and  I  can  assure  you  that  the  men  are  be 
ginning  to  look  tolerably  hearty  and  cheerful  again.  Hitherto, 
they  have  been  seldom  disturbed  in  wearing  their  sheepskin 
coats,  fur  caps,  or  anything  they  thought  would  add  to  their 
comfort.  Now  you  see  regiments  and  detachments  turning  out 
in  the  most  respectable  order,  in  their  red  coats,  and  looking  the 
fine  British  soldier  again  ;  Sir  George  Brown  has  even  begun  to 
call  for  the  stiff  stock  to  be  resumed. 

'  The  above  is  a  more  cheering  account  than  you  have  been 
accustomed  to  contemplate.  Is  it  possible,  that  Ministers  are  not 
.aware  of  it,  and  do  not  see  it  in  that  light  ?  At  the  same  time  I 
am,  like  everybody  else,  fully  sensible  of  the  hardships  and 
severe  sufferings  that  the  troops  have  undergone.'  5 

The  Ministry,  no  less  than  the  Queen  and  Prince,  were 
of  course  well  aware  of  the  facts  mentioned  by  Sir  John 
Burgoyne,  and  they  knew  that  what  had  already  been  done 
by  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  and  what  was  in  course  of  being 
done  by  his  successor  at  the  War  Office,  would  go  far  to  re 
dress  what  stili  remained  of  the  evils  which  had  brought 
so  much  distress  on  the  British  forces.  In  this  there  was 
enough  to  engage  the  whole  attention  of  the  army  depart 
ment  at  home.  It  was  natural,  therefore,  that  they  should 
look  with  no  great  favour  on  the  inquiry  which  the  House 
of  Commons  had  delegated  to  Mr.  Roebuck's  Committee. 
The  additional  labour  which  such  an  investigation  was  sure 
to  throw  upon  officials  already  overtasked  was  something  to 
be  dreaded.  Still  this  would  have  been  cheerfully  borne, 

5  Sir  J.  Burgoyne  to  Captain  Matson,  E.E. — Life  and  Correspondence,  vol.  ii. 
p.  274. 


218  MR.   ROEBUCK'S   COMMITTEE  1855 

could  they  have  believed  that  the  inquiry  would  lead  to 
valuable  practical  results.  But  the  Government  were  al 
ready  fully  aware,  from  miserable  experience,  of  the  weak 
places  in  our  military  system,  which  it  needed  no  Committee 
to  establish.  Committee  or  no  Committee,  the  Government 
were  alone  responsible  to  the  nation  for  seeing  that  these 
defects  were  removed,  and  no  inquiry  could  advance  this, 
the  one  all-important  object.  Our  failure  hitherto  had  been 
clearly  due  to  the  fact  that  we  had  commenced  a  great  war 
with  inadequate  means,  and  that  with  these  inadequate 
means  we  had  attempted  more  than  our  army  could  possibly 
execute.6  Men  who  thought  calmly  felt  that  the  nation,  in  its 
impatience  for  decisive  action,  was  not  without  its  share  of 
the  responsibility  for  this  grave  mistake,  and  that  it  would  be 
hopeless,  as  well  as  unfair,  to  attempt  to  fix  it  upon  the  indi 
viduals  against  whom  the  public  anger  had  been  assiduously 
pointed. 

Although  as  little  inclined  as  Sir  James  Graham  and  his 
friends  to  approve  the  appointment  of  the  Committee,  either 
on  the  ground  of  constitutional  principle  or  of  practical  utility, 
the  Government  determined  to  afford  every  facility  for  its 
inquiries.  The  country  should  have  no  reason  to  complain 
that  any  information  was  withheld.  It  should  also  know 
everything  the  Committee  itself  knew.  There  was  not  a 
flaw  in  our  system,  a  weakness  in  our  disposable  forces, 
which  had  not  been  published  to  our  enemies  as  well  as  to 
ourselves.  When,  therefore,  Mr.  Roebuck,  supported  by  the 
majority  of  his  Committee,  moved  the  House  of  Commons 
(2nd  March)  to  make  the  Committee  one  of  Secrecy,  it  was 
BO  generally  acknowledged  that  no  valid  reason  for  this  could 
be  urged,  that  the  motion  was  not  pressed  to  a  division. 

6  See  on  this  subject  an  admirable  speech  by  General  Peel  (19th  February) 
in  the  Debate  in  the  House  of  Commons  on  Mr.  Layard's  motion  for  a  Com 
mittee  of  Inquiry  on  the  Army  Estimates. 


1 85 5  COMMENCE   THEIR  INQUIRY.  219 

This  point  having  been  settled,  the  Committee  at  once 
entered  upon  their  inquiry.  It  began  on  the  5th  of  March, 
and  was  continued  from  day  to  day,  with  only  the  intermis 
sion  of  the  Easter  holidays,  until  the  18th  of  June.  Not 
withstanding  these  lengthened  sittings,  the  Committee  were 
in  the  end,  as  their  Report  bears,  '  compelled  to  end  an 
inquiry  which  they  had  been  unable  satisfactorily  to  com 
plete,'  partly  from  the  absence  of  important  witnesses  on 
active  service,  and  partly  from  restrictions  imposed  upon  the 
Committee  itself  '  by  considerations  of  State  policy.'  Very 
early  in  their  proceedings,  they  seem  to  have  felt  mis 
givings  as  to  the  probability  of  their  inquiry  leading  to  the 
results  which  had  been  anticipated.  But,  if  they  started 
with  the  idea  that  the  calamities  of  the  campaign  were  due 
to  sinister  influences  at  head-quarters,  as  it  will  presently  be 
shown  that  some  of  them  did,  every  step  in  their  researches 
could  only  end  in  disappointment. 

That  this  idea  was  seriously  entertained,  and  that  the 
Prince  Consort  was  the  delinquent  to  whom  the  suspicions  of 
certain  members  of  the  Committee  pointed,  will  create  as 
much  surprise  to  our  readers  now  as  it  did  to  the  Prince 
himself,  when  he  first  learned  it  in  the  interview  of  which  he 
has  preserved  a  record  in  the  following  Memorandum : — 

'Buckingham  Palace,  8th  March,  IS^o. 

'  The  Duke  of  Newcastle  told  me  yesterday  evening  that 
Mr  Roebuck  had  been  with  him,  and  had  asked  him,  whether 
he  had  any  objection  to  being  examined?  The  Duke  replied, 
that  he  had  the  strongest  on  public  grounds,  thinking  it  most 
dangerous  and  injurious  to  the  public  service,  but  this 
question  seemed  to  have  been  disposed  of  between  the 
Government  and  the  House  of  Commons ;  on  private 
grounds  he  was  most  anxious  to  be  examined.  Mr.  Roebuck, 
after  further  conversation,  told  him  that  the  conviction  upon 


220  MEMORANDUM  BY  PRINCE  1855 

the  minds  of  the  Committee  was  daily  gaining  strength,  that 
they  would  be  able  to  discover  very  little  here  ; — that  the  key 
to  many  mysteries  could  only  be  found  at  the  head-quarters, 
and  that  in  a  high  quarter  there  had  been  a  determination 
that  the  expedition  should  not  succeed,  which  had  been 
suggested  to  the  head-quarters.  The  Duke  said,  "Now  I 
must  be  careful  how  I  talk  further  with  you,  as  I  see  you  are 
laying  the  ground  for  an  impeachment,  as  you  can  only  mean 
me  by  a  high  quarter"  "  Oh  no  !  "  answered  Mr.  Roebuck, 
44 1  mean  a  much  higher  personage  than  you ;  I  mean 
Prince  Albert." 

'The  Duke  was  amazed,  and  did  not  know  whether  he  was 
to  be  more  astounded  at  the  wickedness  or  the  folly  of  such 
a  belief.  He  told  Mr.  Eoebuck  that  he  had  a  press  full  of 
letters  from  me  in  the  very  room  where  they  met,  and  was 
almost  tempted  to  show  him  some  of  them,  as  they  gave  con 
clusive  evidence  of  my  intense  anxiety  for  the  success  of  the 
expedition  ;  and  he  continued,  "  If  during  the  time  of  my 
official  duties  I  have  received  any  suggestions  which  were 
more  valuable  to  me  than  others,  they  did  not  come  from 
your  friends  the  Napiers,  but  from  Prince  Albert." 

'  Mr.  Roebuck  said  he  was  very  much  astonished  at  what 
the  Duke  said,  and  that  it  had  not  been  his  belief  only. 

'  The  Duke  proceeded  further  to  reason  with  him,  and, 
amongst  other  grounds  to  show  him  the  stupidity  of  such  a 
belief,  he  referred  to  the  fact  of  the  Queen's  and  my  entire 
union  in  public  matters,  of  the  influence  my  advice  naturally 
had  with  the  Queen,  of  the  Queen's  having  suffered  materi 
ally  in  health  from  anxiety  about  her  troops  ;  and  yet  it  was 
to  be  supposed  that  all  this  time  I  had  been  working  behind 
her  back  to  produce  that  misery  to  myself !  Mr.  Roebuck 
said  they  knew  about  the  Queen's  anxiety,  as,  when  Lord 
Cardigan  had  been  at  Windsor,  lie  had  had  the  Royal 
children  upon  his  knees,  and  they  said,  "  You  must  hurry 


i855  AS   TO   CALUMNIES.  221 

back  to  Sebastopol,  and  take  it,  else  it  will  kill  Mama  !  ! !  " 
Can  such  stupidity  be  credited  ? 

'  Mr.  Roebuck  lamented  the  appointment  of  Lord  Raglan, 
who  was  unfit  to  command  in  the  field,  and  whose  services  at 
home  would  have  been  most  valuable,  and  attributed  his  ap 
pointment  to  my  wish  to  get  rid  of  him,  in  order  to  keep 
Lord  Hardinge  quite  alone,,  with  whom  I  could  do  what  I 
pleased  !  !  The  Duke  told  him  he  had  selected  Lord  Raglan, 
and  conferred  with  Lord  Hardinge  upon  it  long  before  either 
the  Queen  or  myself  had  been  made  acquainted  with  the  fact, 
and  suggested,  How  was  it  for  me  afterwards  to  bring  about 
the  ruin  of  the  army  through  the  very  man,  who  must  have 
considered  himself  injured  by  me? 

'  The  Duke  asked  me  whether  he  could  do  or  say  anything 
that  I  might  wish  ?  I  replied  that  I  did  not  see  what  could 
be  said  or  done.  We  could  not  make  people  either  virtuous 
or  wise,  and  must  only  regret  the  monstrous  degree  to  which 
their  aberration  extended.  I  must  rest  mainly  upon  a  good 
conscience,  and  the  belief  that,  during  the  fifteen  years  of  my 
connection  with  this  country,  I  had  not  given  a  human  soul 
the  means  of  imputing  to  me  the  want  of  sincerity  or  patrio 
tism.  I  myself  had  the  conviction  that  the  Queen  and  myself 
were  perhaps  the  only  two  persons  in  the  kingdom  who  had 
no  other  interest,  thought,  or  desire  than  the  good,  the 
honour,  and  the  power  of  the  country:  and  this  not  unna 
turally,  as  no  private  interest  can  be  thought  of  which  could 
interfere  with  these  considerations. 

'  I  thought  it  right  to  keep  this  record  of  what  the  Duke 
told  me,  as  a  proof  that  the  will  at  least  to  injure  me  is  never 
wanting  in  certain  circles,  and  that  the  gullibility  of  the 
public  has  no  bounds.' 

To  use  the  Prince's  own  words,  '  things  must  indeed  have 
gone  mad '  in  England,  before  the  suspicions  against  him 


222  CALUMNIES  AGAINST  THE  PRINCE.  1855 

expressed  by  Mr.  Koebuck  could  have  found  any  reasonable 
men  even  to  repeat,  much  less  to  entertain  them.  What  he 
now  learned  must  have  made  it  painfully  clear,  that  the  venom 
of  the  misrepresentations  which  had  been  so  industriously 
propagated  against  him  in  1853  still  rankled  in  many  minds. 
Slanders  are  hard  to  kill ;  and  the  antagonism  which  pre-emi 
nent  worth  arouses  in  base  natures  continued  to  find  vent  in 
detraction  and  innuendo  then,  and  indeed  long  afterwards.7 
Shakspeare's  aphorism  that  '  Back- wound  ing  calumny  the 
whitest  virtue  strikes,'  could  scarcely  receive  a  more  signal 
illustration.  Its  force  will  be  felt  by  all  who  have  followed  the 
details,  necessarily  scanty  although  they  be,  which  we  have 
been  able  to  give,  of  what  the  Prince  had  done  to  secure  by 
energetic  prosecution  of  the  war  the  triumph  of  public  law 

7  It  may  be  convenient  here  once  for  all  to  dispose  of  perhaps  the  only 
calumny,  of  the  many  to  which  the  Prince  was  subjected,  which,  so  far  as  we 
are  aware,  keeps  any  hold  upon  the  public  mind,  viz.,  that  he  had  amassed 
large  sums  of  money  out  of  the  income  allowed  him  by  the  nation,  part  of  which 
had  been  invested  in  the  purchase  of  land  at  South  Kensington,  adjoining  the 
property  of  the  Exhibition  Commissioners.  The  Prince  never  purchased  any 
land  at  South  Kensington  either  for  himself  or  his  family.  Connected  as  he 
was  with  the  acquisition  of  ground  there  for  purely  national  purposes,  the 
thought  of  acquiring  property  in  the  same  locality  for  personal  purposes  would 
never  have  entered  his  mind,  or  the  mind  indeed  of  any  honourable  man. 
But,  in  truth,  the  Prince  never  had  the  means  to  make  purchases  of  this 
nature.  His  whole  income  was  no  more  than  sufficient  to  meet  the  salaries 
of  his  secretaries  and  other  officials  and  servants,  his  public  subscriptions, 
and  such  purchases  of  works  of  art  as  were  expected  from  him.  He  was  often 
blamed,  because  these  purchases  were  not  on  a  larger  scale.  The  fault  was  not 
with  him,  but  in  the  very  limited  means  at  his  disposal,  and  as  to  these  his 
only  regret  was,  that  they  did  not  enable  him  to  do  for  art  and  science  all 
that  he  would  have  wished.  It  was  only  by  strict  economy,  that  the  year's 
current  expenditure  was  made  to  square  with  the  year's  income,  and  the  Prince 
died,  leaving  absolutely  no  fortune ;  indeed,  barely  enough  to  meet  his  personal 
liabilities.  And  yet  even  recently  we  were  assured,  upon  the  authority  of  an 
eminent  statesman,  who  survived  the  Prince  many  years,  and  who  professed 
to  speak  from  personal  knowledge,  that  he  left  behind  in  one  of  his  investments 
no  less  a  sum  than  600,000^.!  The  statesman  in  question  was  not  always 
exact  in  his  statements,  and  he  was  never  less  exact,  or  more  inexcusably  so, 
than  in  this  instance.  But  if  a  man,  whose  position  gave  weight  to  his  words, 
could  propagate  so  mere  a  fable,  it  becomes  necessary  to  give  it,  and  all  stories 
of  the  same  kind,  an  emphatic  denial. 


1 85 5      REMEDIAL  MEASURES  FOR    THE  ARMY.        223 

and  the  maintenance  of  European  peace,  for  which  he  be 
lieved  it  to  be  waged.  The  written  evidence  of  these  efforts, 
in  his  communications  with  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  and  other 
members  of  the  Government,  was  overwhelming. 

The  Duke  of  Newcastle's  successor,  Lord  Panmure,  soon 
experienced  the  same  advantage  as  the  Duke  in  the  wise  and 
energetic  counsels,  and  accurate  knowledge,  of  the  Prince. 
Measures,  as  he  found,  had  already  been  taken  by  his  prede 
cessor  for  improving  the  state  of  things  both  in  the  Crimea  and 
in  the  Hospital  Service  on  the  Bosphorus.  A  Land  Transport 
Corps,  under  the  direction  of  Colonel  MacMurdo,  had  been 
organised  by  the  Duke  of  Newcastle  among  the  last  acts 
of  his  administration.  A  Commission,  at  the  head  of  which 
were  Colonel  Tulloch  and  Sir  John  MacNeill,  was  despatched 
to  the  Crimea  t^o  inquire  into  the  organisation  of  the  Com 
missariat  and  other  departments,  which  had  proved  unequal 
to  the  strain  upon  them.  The  sanitary  condition  of  the 
camp,  as  well  as  of  the  hospitals  and  barracks,  also  received 
the  attention  of  separate  Commissions.  The  want  of  unity 
and  the  mischievous  delays  which  had  arisen  from  the  con 
flict  of  various  Departments,  were  remedied  by  abolishing  the 
Board  of  Ordnance,  and  concentrating  the  whole  civil  adminis 
tration  of  the  army  in  the  Secretary  of  State  for  War,  and  the 
military  administration  in  the  Commander-in-Chief.  The 
announcement  of  these  and  other  measures  for  securing  the  ef 
ficient  conduct  of  the  campaign,  revived  the  public  confidence, 
by  creating  the  assurance  that  the  resources  would  not  be 
wasted,  which  the  nation  was  now  more  resolved  than  ever  to 
put  forth  for  the  prosecution  of  the  war  to  a  decisive  close. 

Conferences  with  a  view  to  peace  on  the  basis  of  the  Four 
Points  were  about  to  be  opened  at  Vienna,  and  Lord  John 
Russell  had  gone  there  as  our  representative.8  By  this  ar- 

8  While  on  his  way  there  he  was  offered  and  accepted  the  office  of  Colonial 
Secretary,  which  had  become  vacant  by  the  retirement  of  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert. 


224       LORD  JOHN  RUSSELL   GOES  TO    VIENNA.      1855 

rangement  Lord  Palmerston  conciliated  one  who  might  have 
proved  a  doubtful  ally,  if  not  even  a  dangerous  adversary, 
and  gave  him  at  the  same  time  an  opportunity  to  retrieve 
the  reputation  which  had  been  not  a  little  impaired  by  his 
recent  proceedings.  However  greatly  these  might  have  been 
disapproved,  the  country  could  not  doubt  that  Lord  John 
Russell  might  be  trusted  in  the  impending  negotiations  only 
to  entertain  terms  in  which  the  honour  of  the  country  was 
fully  maintained,  and  reasonable  guarantees  given  for  the 
permanent  peace,  which  it  had  been  the  object  of  the  Allies 
in  entering  upon  the  war  to  secure.  That  such  terms  would 
be  conceded  by  Kussia,  until  she  was  crippled  by  defeats 
more  severe  than  any  she  had  yet  sustained,  the  statesmen 
who  knew  her  best  did  not  venture  to  anticipate.  It  was 
true  that  she  had  agreed  to  treat  on  the  footing  of  the  Four 
Points.  But  it  was  hard  to  reconcile  her  ostensible  accept 
ance  of  these  now  with  all  her  former  declarations.  So  lately 
as  the  26th  of  August,  1854,  Count  Nesselrode  had,  in  a 
Despatch  to  Prince  Grortschakoff,  expressly  refused  to  enter 
into  negotiations  on  the  basis  of  the  Four  Points,  because 
they  could  not  be  interpreted,  except  in  the  sense  which  we 
had  since  expressed  in  terms.  He  had  at  the  same  time 
stated,  that  Russia  would  assent  to  them  only  if  she  were 
in  extremis,  and  then  only  for  the  moment,  as  she  would 
never  abide  by  a  peace  concluded  on  such  a  footing.  Nothing 
had  occurred  since  to  make  it  probable  that  these  views  had 
been  modified.  Some  distrust  in  the  sincerity  of  Eussia's  ac 
ceptance  of  the  basis  for  the  Conference  was  therefore  not 
unnatural.  At  the  same  time,  the  negotiations  were  entered 
upon  with  a  sincere  desire  on  the  part  of  the  Allies  to  con 
clude  a  peace  if  possible ;  and,  as  the  operations  of  war  were 
in  the  meantime  in  no  way  relaxed,  the  turn  of  events  might 
at  any  moment  bear  down  the  opposition,  against  which  the 
arguments  of  mere  diplomacy  would  be  powerless. 


1855  DEATH  OF  EMPEROR  NICHOLAS.  225 

The  announcement  of  the  unexpected  death  of  the  Czar 
on  the  2nd  of  March  of  pulmonic  apoplexy,  induced  by  an 
attack  of  influenza,  struck  the  people  of  England  with  sur 
prise.  Nothing  had  been  heard  of  his  illness,  and  it  was 
with  a  feeling  of  awe,9  and  not  of  exultation,  that  they  learned 
that  the  indomitable  will,  in  baffling  which  so  many  a  British 
home  had  been  made  desolate,  could  no  longer  issue  menace 
or  command.  Silistria,  Alma,  Balaclava,  Inkermann,  all 
rose  up  to  men's  minds,  and  they  thought  of  the  bitter 
lessons  which  each  of  these  must  have  read  to  the  '  imperious 
Csesar '  of  the  North,  and  how  they  must  have  helped  to 
break  down  his  iron  frame.  More  bitter  than  all,  however, 
must  have  been  the  defeat  of  his  legions  at  Eupatoria  on  the 
18th  of  February  by  the  Turks,  whom  he  despised.  The 
details  of  this  attack,  in  which  upwards  of  40,000  Kussians, 
under  General  Liprandi,  were  engaged,  and  which  was  beaten 
back  by  a  much  smaller  force  under  Omar  Pasha,  supported 
with  great  effect  by  the  fire  of  several  ships  of  war  from  the 
Allied  fleets,  reached  the  Czar  on  the  1st  of  March.  Soon 
after  he  became  slightly  delirious,  and  fatal  symptoms  set  in. 
His  thoughts  to  the  last  were  with  his  soldiers  at  Sebastopol, 
to  whom  he  sent  his  thanks  for  their  heroic  defence.  But  his 
supreme  anxiety  was  to  secure  the  continuance  of  Prussia  in 
the  policy  of  which  the  Western  Powers  had  already  had  so 
much  reason  to  complain  ;  and  his  last  injunctions  to  the 
Empress  were,  '  Tell  my  dear  Fritz  (the  King  of  Prussia)  to 
continue  the  friend  of  Eussia,  and  faithful  to  the  last  words 
of  Papa  10  (les  dernieres  paroles  de  Papa).' 

The  prospects  of  peace  were  thought  by  some  to  be  brought 
nearer  by  this  event ;  but  only  by  those  who  had  not  learned, 

9  Which,  in  the  case  of  the  Queen,  was  mixed  with  regret,  as  she  entertained 
a  sincere  regard  fur  the  Emperor  Nicholas  personally. — NOTE  BY  THE  QUEEN. 

10  These  last  words  were  '  an  injunction  to  maintain,  under  all  contingencies, 
the  principles  of  the  Holy  Alliance.'     (Despatch  by  Lord  Bloomfield  from 
Berlin  to  Lord  Clarendon,  6th  March,  1855.) 

VOL.  III.  Q 


226  MANIFESTO  BY  HIS  SUCCESSOR.  1855 

from  history  or  the  study  of  mankind,  how  little  the  death 
of  any  individual  can  influence  a  question  of  war  or  peace, 
when  the  pride  and  policy  of  a  nation  are  at  issue.  The 
manifesto  published  by  the  present  Emperor  on  the  day  of 
his  accession  (2nd  March)  was  sufficient  to  show,  that  with 
the  crown  he  inherited  the  policy  of  his  father.  '  May  we,' 
it  bore,  '  under  the  guidance  and  protection  of  Providence, 
consolidate  Russia  in  the  highest  degree  of  power  and  glory ; 
that  through  us  may  be  accomplished  the  views  and  desires 
of  our  illustrious  predecessors,  Peter,  Catherine,  Alexander 
the  well-beloved,  and  of  our  august  father  of  imperishable 
memory!'  'Power  and  glory,' in  the  connection  in  which 
they  were  here  presented,  could  only  be  read  to  mean  military 
supremacy,  applied  in  conquest  of  other  lands,  not  that 
'  highest  degree  of  power  and  glory '  which  would  have  been 
won  by  developing  the  resources,  and  enlarging  the  freedom 
and  happiness  of  an  Empire  already  vast  enough  for  any 
healthy  ambition.  A  few  days  later  (10th  March)  Count 
Nesselrode,  in  a  Despatch  addressed  to  the  Russian  diplomatic 
agents  abroad,  stated  that  his  Sovereign  would  join  the 
deliberations  of  the  Vienna  Conference  '  in  a  sincere  spirit  of 
concord.'  But  this  document  was  studiously  silent  as  to  the 
limitation  of  the  power  of  Russia  in  the  Black  Sea,  which 
formed  one  of  the  celebrated  Four  Points  ;  and,  as  it  was 
well  known,  that  the  late  Emperor  had  to  the  last  declared 
he  would  neither  consent  to  the  dismantling  of  Sebas- 
topol,  nor  to  the  restriction  of  his  navy  in  the  Euxine,11  and 
there  was  no  reason  to  believe  that  any  change  of  view  had 
taken  place  at  St.  Petersburg,  while  the  Allies  on  the  other 
hand  were  determined  to  insist  on  both  conditions,  the 
'  spirit  of  concord,'  of  which  Count  Xesselrode  spoke,  could 
avail  little  towards  a  peaceful  settlement. 

11  This  was  communicated  by  Lord  Eloomfield  to  Lord  Clarendon  in  a  De 
spatch,  dated  28th  February,  1855. 


1855       QUEEN  ON  HOSPITALS  FOR    WOUNDED.        227 

By  this  time  large  numbers  of  the  troops  who  had  been 
disabled  by  wounds  or  sickness  had  returned  to  this  country. 
The  Queen  and  Prince  took  the  earliest  opportunity  of 
ascertaining  by  personal  observation  in  what  condition  they 
were,  and  how  they  were  cared  for.  On  the  3rd  of  March 
they  went  with  the  two  eldest  Princes  to  the  Military  Hos 
pitals  at  Chatham,  where  a  large  number  of  the  wounded 
from  the  Crimea  had  recently  arrived.  This  visit  led  to  the 
following  letter  to  Lord  Panmure  by  the  Queen  : — 

1  Buckingham  Palace,  5th  March,  1855. 

'  The  Queen  is  very  anxious  to  bring  before  Lord  Pan- 
mure  the  subject  which  she  mentioned  to  him  the  other 
night,  viz.  hospitals  for  our  sick  and  wounded  soldiers. 
These  are  absolutely  necessary,  and  now  is  the  moment  to 
have  them  built,  for  no  doubt  there  would  be  no  difficulty  in 
obtaining  the  money  requisite  for  the  purpose,  so  strong  is 
the  feeling  now  existing  in  the  public  mind  for  improvement 
of  all  kinds  connected  with  the  army,  and  the  well-being 
and  comfort  of  the  soldier. 

'  Nothing  can  exceed  the  attention  paid  to  these  poor 
men  in  the  barracks  at  Chatham,  or  rather  Fort  Pitt  and 
Brompton,  and  they  are  in  that  respect  very  comfortable — 
but  the  buildings  are  bad — the  wards  more  like  prisons  than 
hospitals,  with  the  windows  so  high  that  no  one  can  look  out 
of  them, — and  the  most  of  the  wards  are  small,  with  hardly 
space  to  walk  between  the  beds.  There  is  no  dining-room  or 
hall,  so  that  the  poor  men  must  have  their  dinners  in  the  same 
room  in  which  they  sleep,  and  in  which  some  may  be  dying, 
and  at  any  rate  suffering,  while  others  are  at  their  meals. 

c  The  proposition  to  have  hulks  prepared  for  their  recep 
tion  will  do  very  well  at  first,  but  it  would  not,  the  Queen 
thinks,  do  for  any  length  of  time.  A  hulk  is  a  very  gloomy 
place,  and  these  poor  men  require  their  spirits  to  be  cheered 

o  2 


228  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON  RESOLVES  1855 

as  much  as  to  have  their  physical  sufferings  attended  to. 
The  Queen  is  particularly  anxious  on  this  subject,  which  is, 
she  may  truly  say,  constantly  in  her  thoughts,  as  indeed  is 
everything  connected  with  her  beloved  troops,  who  have 
fought  so  bravely,  and  borne  so  heroically  all  their  sufferings 
and  privations.  The  Queen  hopes  before  long  to  visit  the  hos 
pitals  at  Portsmouth  also,  and  to  see  in  what  state  they  are.' 

Lord  Panmure  replied  the  same  day,  expressing  his  con 
currence  in  Her  Majesty's  views  as  to  the  necessity  of  one  or 
more  general  hospitals  for  the  army,  and  stating  that  he 
would  '  desire  an  immediate  survey  to  be  made  for  a  proper 
site  or  sites,  which  shall  combine  all  considerations  for  the 
health  of  the  patients,  and  the  facility  of  access  to  the 
invalids.'  The  idea  mooted  by  Her  Majesty  was  not  allowed 
to  drop,  and  it  was  subsequently  carried  out  in  the  great 
Military  Hospital  at  Netley. 

Amid  the  difficulties,  already  sufficiently  numerous,  with 
which  the  Government  had  to  deal  in  the  management  of 
the  war,  a  sudden  resolution  of  the  .  Emperor  Napoleon  to 
repair  in  person  to  the  Crimea,  and  to  undertake  the  conduct 
of  the  campaign,  added  a  fresh  source  of  disquietude.  This 
determination  was  announced  in  a  letter  which  he  addressed 
on  the  26th  of  February  to  Lord  Palmerston,  in  which  it  was 
put  forward  as  '  the  only  way  to  bring  to  a  rapid  conclusion  an 
expedition  which  otherwise  must  result  in  disaster  to  England 
as  well  as  France.'  The  disadvantage  of  a  divided  command 
and  the  consequent  want  of  unity  of  counsel  were  put  forward 
as  the  reason  which  had  decided  the  Emperor,  without  in 
any  way  presuming  to  place  his  military  skill  on  a  level  with 
that  of  either  Lord  Raglan  or  General  Canrobert,  to  secure 
by  his  personal  presence  the  unity  of  view  and  action  which 
was  indispensable  to  success. 

SebastopoJ,  the  Emperor  continued,  could  not,  as  matters 


1855  TO   GO    TO    THE   CRIMEA.  229 

stood,  be  taken  except  at  an  immense  sacrifice  of  life.  The 
army  defending  it,  reinforced  from  time  to  time  as  it  was 
from  without,  was  in  a  position  of  immense  advantage.  The 
army  from  which  it  drew  its  reinforcements,  on  the  contrary, 
was  badly  placed  for  meeting  any  vigorous  attack  on  the 
part  of  the  Allies.  Let  them  succeed  in  that  attack,  and 
Sebastopol  must  fall  into  their  hands  upon  comparatively 
easy  terms.  For  this  purpose  two  things  were  necessary  : — 
first,  a  plan  of  action  conceived  in  secret,  and  executed 
promptly, — next  certain  reinforcements  in  men,  with  an 
adequate  transport  service  of  horses  and  mules.  He  was 
prepared  to  find  the  additional  men,  if  England  on  her  part 
would  find  the  vessels  to  carry  what  was  wanted  in  the  way 
of  horses  and  mules  to  the  Crimea.  Leaving  a  sufficient 
force  at  Sebastopol  for  the  purposes  of  the  siege,  he  expected 
to  be  able  to  take  into  the  field  62,000  French,  and  the 
15,000  Piedmontese,  who  under  a  Convention  concluded  in 
the  previous  January  with  the  King  of  Sardinia,  were  then 
upon  their  way  to  support  the  Allies  in  the  Crimea.12  '  With 
these  forces  at  our  disposal,  all  the  chances  will  be  on  our 
side,  for  the  Russians  have  only  30,000  men  at  Sebastopol,  and 
45,000  echeloned  between  it  and  Simferopol,  and  very  pro 
bably  they  will  not  receive  much  in  the  way  of  reinforcements 
before  the  1st  of  April.'  '  Strike  quickly,  and  Sebastopol 
will  be  ours  before  the  1st  of  May.' 

'  You  will  tell  me,  perhaps,'  the  letter  continued*  '  that  I 
might  entrust  some  general  with  this  mission,  Now,  not  only 

12  On  the  26th  of  January,  1855,  the  King  of  Sardinia  acceded  to  the  Con 
vention  between  the  French  and  English  Governments  of  the  10th  of  April, 
185-i,  and  agreed  to  furnish  and  to  maintain  at  fxill  for  the  requirements  of  the 
war  15,000  men,  under  the  command  of  a  Sardinian  general.  By  a  separate 
article  England  and  France  agreed  to  guarantee  the  integrity  of  the  King's 
dominions.  England  undertook  the  charges  of  transporting  the  troops  to  and 
from  the  Crimea,  and  under  the  Treaty  a  recommendation  was  to  be  made 
to  Parliament  to  advance  a  million  sterling  to  the  King  of  Sardinia  at 
4  per  cent. 


230  LORD   CLARENDON   VISITS  EMPEROR          1855 

would  such  a  general  not  have  the  same  moral  influence,  but 
time  would  be  wasted  as  it  always  has  been  in  memorandums 
between  Canrobert  and  Lord  Raglan,  between  Lord  Raglan 
and  Omar  Pasha.  The  propitious  moment  would  be  lost,  the 
favourable  chances  let  slip,  and  we  should  find  ourselves  with 
a  besieging  army  unable  to  take  the  city,  and  with  an  active  army 
not  strong  enough  to  beat  the  army  opposed  to  it.' 

It  was  obviously  impossible  for  our  Government  to  look 
with  favour  upon  a  proposal,  to  which  the  objections  were  so 
numerous  and  so  serious,  and  which  they  had  reason  to  know 
was  disapproved  by  the  Emperor's  own  advisers,  military  as 
well  as  civil.  But  to  induce  him  to  forego  a  project  which 
he  had  worked  out  in  detail,  and  to  which  he  was  strongly 
wedded,  was  a  task  of  extreme  delicacy.  The  one  satisfactory 
feature  in  the  Emperor's  letter  was  the  evidence  it  afforded  of 
his  firm  attachment  to  the  English  alliance,  and  unwavering 
resolution  to  stand  by  us  in  seeing  the  war  to  its  end ;  I3  and 
these,  no  less  than  his  respect  for  the  opinions  of  the  Queen 
and  her  advisers,  might  be  relied  on  to  make  him  pause  in  his 
decision,  when  he  found  they  could  not  go  heartily  along 
with  him  in  it.  Instead,  therefore,  of  discussing  it  through 
the  usual  official  channels,  it  was  thought  best,  as  the 
Emperor  was  to  be  at  the  camp  at  Boulogne  early  in  March, 
that  Lord  Clarendon  should  visit  him  there,  and  go  personally 
into  the  whole  question.  The  Emperor  was  gratified  by  the 
implied  courtesy  thus  shown  to  him ;  and  the  subject  was 
talked  over  with  the  frankness  and  unreserve  which  he 
appears  to  have  shown  towards  England  throughout  all 
the  transactions  of  the  war.  The  Prince  preserved  a  re 
cord  of  what  passed,  as  reported  to  the  Queen  and  himself 
"by  Lord  Clarendon,  in  the  following  interesting  Memo 
randum  : — 

13  What  he  thought  of  our  soldiers  a  few  words  in  his  letter  will  serve  to 
show :  '  Les  vingt  ndlle  Anglais  campes  dcvant  Sevastopol  comptent  par  leur 
bravoure  comme  cinqiiante  mille  homines  aux  ycux  de  I'armeefrangaise' 


i855  NAPOLEON  AT  BOULOGNE.  231 

«  Buckingham  Palace,  6th  March,  1855. 

4  We  saw  Lord  Clarendon  yesterday  afternoon,  who  had 
returned  early  that  morning  from  Boulogne,  and  who  re 
ported  his  interviews  with  the  Emperor. 

'  He  saw  Colonel  Fleury  upon  his  arrival  (the  Emperor's 
most  confidential  officer,  and  whose  existence  is  entirely 
bound  up  with  him). 

'  Fleury  was  anxious  that  Lord  Clarendon  should  be  ac 
quainted  with  the  fact  (before  he  saw  the  Emperor),  that 
the  Emperor  was  entirely  mistaken  in  the  belief  that  his 
going  to  Sebastopol  was  popular  with  the  army  generally,  or 
that  he  would  even  be  well  received  by  the  troops  in  the 
Crimea.  They  adhered  to  him  as  Emperor,  but  did  not  like 
to  be  commanded  by  any  one  but  a  professional  man,  and 
they  looked  upon  him  as  a  civilian.  The  Emperor's  plans 
might  be  ever  so  good,  they  would  not  carry  with  them  the 
confidence  of  the  army.  Colonel  Fleury  had  not  formed 
this  opinion  hastily,  but  from  an  intimate  knowledge  of  the 
feelings  of  officers  of  all  ranks,  acquired  by  daily  intercourse 
with  them,  and  Lord  Clarendon  afterwards  found  it  amply 
corroborated  by  the  language  held  by  the  Emperor's  own 
aides-de-camp,  and  the  officers  who  came  in  from  the  camp, 
in  presence  of  his  secretary,  Mr.  Ponsonby. 

'  Lord  Clarendon  was  received  with  the  greatest  cordiality 
by  the  Emperor,  who  was  evidently  much  pleased  with  his 
visit.  He  seemed  very  much  struck  with  the  news  of  the 
death  of  the  Emperor  of  Russia,  and  speculated  on  its  effects 
on  the  political  juncture.  He  believed  that  it  would  incline 
both  Austria  and  Prussia  to  a  more  vigorous  policy,  and  that 
the  new  Emperor  would  find  it  more  easy  to  make  peace  than 
his  father.  Lord  Clarendon  had  to  announce  his  dissent  from 
both  these  views.  The  new  Emperor  would  find  it  most 
difficult  to  control  the  feelings  of  the  Russian  party,  and  .  .  . 


232  CONFERENCE  BETWEEN  EMPEROR  1855 

would  not  venture  upon  a  policy  which  that  party  condemned. 
The  King  of  Prussia,  on  the  other  hand,  would  be  moved  by 
some  last  dying  words  which  the  Emperor  Nicholas  may  have 
been  made  to  pronounce,  and  would  then  declare  that  the 
policy  which  had  been  hitherto  his  choice  became  now  his 
sacred  duty  towards  his  deceased  brother-in-law.  (Lord 
Clarendon  was  amused  and  impressed  at  hearing  from  us  that 
those  words  had  already  been  spoken.  .  .  .) 

6  The  Emperor  proceeded  to  explain  his  plan  of  campaign, 
and  repeated  the  argument  that  he  had  used  in  his  letter  to 
Lord  Palmerston,  and  wished  to  know  whether  the  English 
Government  could  furnish  the  transport  necessary.  Lord 
Clarendon  replied  that  every  one  concurred  in  the  sagacity 
of  the  plan  he  suggested,  but  that  it  was  a  grave  question 
whether  the  means  for  its  execution  existed. 

'  He  then  entered  into  a  calculation  of  time,  means  of 
transport,  troops,  £c.,  which  would  be  requisite,  more  in  the 
style,  as  he  said  himself,  of  a  contractor  before  a  commercial 
company  than  of  a  Minister,  showing  that  the  means  of 
transport  in  England  were  not  inexhaustible  ;  that  we  had  now 
102  large  steamers  employed  in  the  Black  Sea,  which  were 
hardly  sufficient  to  satisfy  all  existing  claims  upon  them  ; 
that  a  large  ship  like  the  Himalaya,  the  largest  steamer  in 
the  world  (3,000  tons),  could  carry  only  320  horses,  and  that 
a  trip  from  Sebastopol  to  Marseilles,  with  loading  and  un 
loading,  coaling,  &c.,  would  take  more  than  a  month  ;  that 
the  utmost  which  could  be  accomplished  was  to  carry  out 
10,000  men,  additional  French  troops,  besides  the  Sardinian 
army,  in  from  six  to  eight  weeks  from  the  time  of  the  order 
being  given.  What  would  be  the  Emperor's  position  if  he 
went  now  to  the  Crimea?  Probably  condemned  to  inactivity 
for  more  than  a  month,  and  complaining  of  the  slowness  of 
the  English  Government,  which  was  to  carry  his  army  for 
him.  He  thought  the  Emperor  should  not  move  till  every- 


i855  NAPOLEON  AND  LORD   CLARENDON.  233 

thing  was  ready,  in  order  to  give  merely  the  dernier  coup  de 
main.  "  C'cst  le  mot"  said  the  Emperor;  "  le  dernier 
coup  de  main"  Lord  Clarendon  went  on  to  show  that,  even 
if  everything  was  ready,  an  absence  of  four  months  would  be 
the  least  which  would  suffice  to  carry  out  even  the  most  suc 
cessful  campaign,  for  the  Emperor  could  not  go  away  in  the 
midst  of  it ;  if  it  failed,  he  would  have  to  remain  till  the  day 
of  judgment,  and  France  should  have  poured  out  her  last  man 
to  retrieve  his  defeat.  The  Emperor  seemed  much  struck 
with  all  these  considerations,  which  had  very  probably  never 
been  so  frankly  laid  before  him,  and  said  he  could  not  pos 
sibly  be  absent  four  months  from  France — that  he  must  be 
at  Paris  by  the  beginning  of  May. 

6  Lord  Clarendon  then  took  an  opportunity  to  state  to  the 
Emperor  most  fully  what  I  had  been  so  anxious  that  he 
should  convey  to  him,  viz.  the  danger  threatening  the  Alliance 
from  a  want  of  consideration  for  the  feelings  of  the  British 
army.  His  taking  the  supreme  command  would  certainly 
not  be  popular  either  in  England  or  in  the  English  camp, 
but  would  be  agreed  to  as  not  an  unnatural  consequence  o£ 
the  Emperor's  presence  on  the  spot.  But  if  it  were  intended 
that  the  English  should  act  merely  as  the  carriers,  or,  at  the 
utmost,  be  considered  as  n't  to  go  on  rotting  in  the  trenches, 
whilst  the  honour  and  glory  of  the  new  campaign  should  fall 
solely  to  the  lot  of  the  French,  a  feeling  would  be  roused  with 
which  the  alliance  would  not  remain  compatible  for  a  day. 
The  alliance  rested  on  the  reciprocal  feeling  of  the  usefulness 
of  each  party  to  the  other,  and  whenever  that  belief  was  lost 
the  alliance  could  not  survive  it.  Lord  Clarendon  used  the 
same  example  for  the  illustration  of  this  truth  which  I  had 
used  to  him,  namely  that  of  the  Turks,  who  had  been  praised 
to  the  skies  ;  in  whose  defence  we  had  engaged  in  the  war ; 
whose  assistance  in  the  Crimea  had  been  anxiously  called  for ; 
but  who,  from  the  moment  that  200  of  them,  placed  in  a 


234  CONFERENCE  BETWEEN  EMPEROR  1855 

most  unfair  and  exposed  situation  in  the  redoubts  before 
Balaclava,  had  fled,  were  treated,  not  only  with  the  utmost 
contumely,  but  with  downright  barbarity  and  cruelty  on  the 
part  of  the  English  and  French.  It  was  rather  an  extreme 
case,  but  proved  that  all  consideration  vanished  when  the 
belief  in  usefulness  was  lost. 

'  This  seemed  to  be  an  entirely  new  view  to  the  Emperor. 
He  protested  that  he  hoped  nobody  thought  him  capable  of 
entertaining  such  intentions  towards  the  English  army. 
Should  he  go,  he  intended  to  submit  his  plans  to  Lord  Rag 
lan,  whose  experience  and  knowledge  would  be  of  the  greatest 
use  to  him  ....  and  if  Lord  Raglan  agreed  in  the  sound 
ness  of  the  plan  of  campaign,  which  he  did  not  doubt,  he 
would  leave  it  entirely  to  him  to  take  in  it  what  part  he 
pleased — either  to  share  in  the  operations  which  he  contem 
plated  in  the  field  with  the  whole  or  part  of  his  force — or  to 
remain  in  command  of  the  investing  army,  &c.  He  thought 
it  of  the  highest  importance,  however,  that  wherever  the 
field  of  glory  lay,  the  two  flags  should  be  seen  waving  to 
gether. 

'  Lord  Clarendon's  remark  had  made  so  strong  an  impres 
sion  upon  him,  that  he  repeated  next  morning  his  thanks  to 
him  for  having  drawn  his  attention  to  it,  and  begged  him  to 
tell  the  Queen  that,  should  he  go,  the  honour  of  the  British 
flag  would  be  his  first  consideration,  even  beyond  that  of  his 
own.  .  .  . 

'  The  Emperor  was  very  anxious  that  a  plan  of  campaign 
for  the  Baltic  should  be  agreed  upon.  This  was  of  less  im 
portance  to  him,  who  would  join  his  ships  to  ours  in  whatever 
might  be  done ;  but  it  was  of  the  greatest  importance  to  us, 
whose  prestige  as  masters  of  the  sea,  he  considered,  had  been 
terribly  shaken  by  the  nullity  of  our  proceedings  in  the 
Baltic  last  year.  Nobody  dreaded  us  any  more,  and  this  was 
a  misfortune  over  which  he  sincerely  grieved.' 


i855  NAPOLEON  AND  LORD   CLARENDON.  235 

The  object  of  Lord  Clarendon's  visit  was  fully  achieved. 
His  reasons  had  induced  the  Emperor  to  postpone  for  the 
moment  his  projected  visit  to  the  seat  of  war ;  and  although 
the  idea  was  not  given  up  by  himself  until  some  time  after 
wards,  its  ultimate  abandonment  was  felt  to  have  been  vir 
tually  secured. 


236 


CHAPTEK   LXII. 

MEANWHILE  the  Emperor's  desire  to  go  to  the  Crimea,  having 
become  known  in  Paris,  had  created  the  greatest  uneasi 
ness  there.  All  felt  that  his  presence  with  the  army  coidd 
do  no  good  ;  while,  on  the  other  hand,  his  absence  from  France 
would  be  full  of  peril  to  his  government  at  home.  To  his 
English  allies  this  was  a  matter  of  serious  moment.  He  was 
himself  the  soul  of  the  war  party  in  France  ;  and  had  any 
evil  befallen  his  person  or  his  dynasty,  we  should  have  pro 
bably  found  ourselves  compelled  to  fight  out  single-handed 
the  conflict  in  which  we  were  engaged.  The  mere  appre 
hension  of  mischief  from  his  plan  had  served  to  make 
the  French  more  indifferent  than  ever  to  a  war  which  they 
had  never  heartily  liked,  and  consequently  more  inclined  to  a 
peace  on  almost  any  terms.  It  was,  therefore,  not  without 
satisfaction  that  our  Government  learned  through  Lord 
Cowley,  about  a  fortnight  after  Lord  Clarendon's  visit  to 
Boulogne,  that  the  Emperor  had  requested  him  to  inquire 
whether  a  visit  from  the  Empress  and  himself  immediately 
after  Easter  would  be  acceptable  to  the  Queen.  A  fuller, 
opportunity  would  then  be  given  to  urge  the  objections 
entertained  here  to  the  Crimean  project.  It  was  known 
that  the  Emperor's  reason  for  suggesting  a  visit  to  England 
on  so  short  a  notice  was  that  he  was  resolved  not  to  postpone 
his  departure  for  the  East  beyond  the  end  of  April.  Still 
every  day's  delay  increased  the  chances  of  his  being  led  to 
reconsider  his  decision. 


1 85 5  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON  ARRIVES  IN  ENGLAND.  237 

During  his  visit  to  the  Emperor  at  Boulogne  the  Prince 
Consort  had,  as  we  have  seen  (ante,  p.  106),  expressed  Her 
Majesty's  desire  to  see  the  Emperor  and  Empress  in  England. 
A  little  more  time  to  make  the  needful  arrangements  for 
receiving  the  Imperial  guests  with  befitting  state  would  have 
been  not  unwelcome.  Royal  hosts,  who  have  to  represent 
the  hospitality  and  the  dignity  of  a  nation,  are  naturally 
even  more  sensitive  than  the  heads  of  humbler  households 
about  being  taken  at  a  disadvantage.  But  when  the  Em 
peror  subsequently  named  the  16th  of  April  for  the  day  of 
his  arrival,  it  required  no  great  strain  on  the  resources  of  the 
Eoyal  establishment  to  prepare  a  reception  worthy  of  the 
occasion.  The  splendid  suite  of  apartments  at  Windsor  Castle, 
in  which  the  Rubens,  the  Zuccarelli,  and  the  Vandyke 
rooms  are  included,  was  set  apart  for  the  Imperial  guests  ; 
and  there  was  the  very  irony  of  fate  in  the  fact,  that  the 
Emperor's  bedroom  was  the  same  which  had  been  occupied 
during  the  present  reign  by  the  Emperor  Nicholas  and  by 
King  Louis  Philippe.  On  the  1 3th  the  Queen  was  visited 
by  Queen  Marie  Amelie.  6  It  made  us  both  so  sad,'  is  the 
entry  in  Her  Majesty's  Diary,  '  to  see  her  drive  away  in  a 
plain  coach  with  miserable  post-horses,  and  to  think  that 
tli is  was  the  Queen  of  the  French,  and  that  six  years  ago  her 
husband  was  surrounded  by  the  same  pomp  and  grandeur 
which  three  days  hence  would  surround  his  successor.  The 
contrast  was  painful  in  the  extreme.' 

The  Imperial  visitors  were  expected  to  reach  Dover  early 
on  the  morning  of  the  16th,  and  the  Prince  had  gone  down 
there  the  previous  evening  to  receive  them.  But  in 
consequence  of  a  dense  fog,  in  which  two  steamers  of  the 
French  squadron  ran  aground  near  the  South  Foreland,  it 
was  noon  before  the  Imperial  yacht,  which  had  herself 
narrowly  escaped  a  similar  disaster,  reached  the  Admiralty 
Pier.  A  fleet  of  English  war  steamers  had  been  assembled 


238  VISIT   TO  ENGLAND  1855 

off  the  pert,  and  every  preparation  had  been  made  to  make 
the  landing  on  the  English  shores  as  brilliant  as  possible. 
But  the  fleet  was  invisible,  and  the  hosts  of  yachts  and  boats, 
which  left  the  harbour  to  hail  the  approach  of  the  Imperial 
squadron  and  were  speedily  lost  in  the  mist,  only  added  to 
the  risk  of  casualties  by  crowding  still  farther  the  already 
over-crowded  waterway.  If  something  was  lost  in  splendour 
of  effect  through  the  too  national  density  of  the  atmosphere,1 
it  was  amply  compensated  by  the  heartiness  of  the  welcome, 
which  was  all  the  more  hearty  in  consequence  of  the  appre 
hensions  which  had  been  felt — not,  as  it  proved,  without 
reason — for  the  safety  of  the  Imperial  visitors  in  making  the 
passage  of  the  Channel. 

When  they  reached  London,  the  spirit  with  which  the 
British  nation  was  determined  to  recognise  the  ally,  who  had 
hitherto  stood  so  loyally  by  their  side,  was  very  strikingly 
manifested.  The  public  had  not  been  informed  till  the  last 
moment  by  what  route  the  Imperial  cortege  would  proceed 
from  the  Bricklayers'  Arms  Station  to  Paddington.  There 
was,  therefore,  but  a  scanty  display  of  the  flags  and  in 
scriptions  customary  on  such  occasions.  Bat  all  London 
turned  out  to  testify  its  welcome,  and  everywhere  the  utmost 
enthusiasm  prevailed. 

'  By  the  humbler  inhabitants  of  the  Borough  and  Lambeth  the 
Emperor  was  received  with  even  greater  cordiality  than  by  the 
wealthier  classes  of  the  community  at  the  West  End,  yet  nowhere 
was  there  a  lack  of  hearty  good  feeling  and  interest.  The  win 
dows,  the  pavements,  the  balconies,  the  housetops,  and  every 
spot,  in  short,  whence  a  commanding  view  could  be  obtained  of 

1  The  Times'  chronicler  of  the  day  reports  thus :  '  Prince  Albert,  who  seems  to 
take  a  peculiar  pleasure  in  examining  such  works,  inspected  the  (Admiralty) 
Pier  at  an  early  hour  in  the  morning,  and  rather  astonished  the  engineer  and 
contractors  by  his  familiarity  with  the  details.'  There  were  probably  no 
great  public  works  in  progress  where  the  same  thing  would  not  have 
happened. 


j  85 5  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  239 

the  procession,  were  all  densely  crowded.  .  .  .  The  scene  pre 
sented  by  the  clubs  in  Pall  Mall  was  particularly  animated,  and 
among  those  who  gazed  upon  his  progress  from  the  well-known 
haunts  of  former  days,  His  Majesty  no  doubt  distinguished  many 
old  familiar  faces.  ...  In  passing  King  Street,  the  Emperor 
was  observed  to  draw  the  attention  of  the  Empress  to  the  house 
which  he  had  occupied  in  former  days  ;  and  in  him  at  least  the 
sight  of  this  house  under  such  altered  circumstances  must  have 
raised  some  strange  emotions.  All  along  Piccadilly  the  same 
display  of  popular  feeling  greeted  them,  and  so  they  passed 
through  Hyde  Park  to  the  Paddington  station,  receiving  at  every 
stage  of  their  progress  the  warmest  manifestations  of  respect  and 
welcome.' — (The  Times,  17th  April,  1855.) 

What,  meanwhile,  was  the  state  of  things  at  Windsor, 
which  had  arrayed  itself  in  all  the  splendour  of  flags  and 
triumphal  arches  for  the  occasion  ?  This  will  best  be  told 
by  a  few  extracts  from  Her  Majesty's  Diary  :— 

'  News  arrived  that  the  Emperor  had  reached  London  at 
ten  minutes  to  five.  I  hurried  to  be  ready  ....  and  went 
over  to  the  other  side  of  the  Castle,  where  we  waited  in  one 
of  the  tapestry  rooms  near  the  guard-room.  It  seemed  very 
long.  At  length,  at  a  quarter  to  seven,  we  heard  that  the 
train  had  left  Paddington.  The  expectation  and  agitation 
grew  more  intense.  The  evening  was  fine  and  bright.  At 
length  the  crowd  of  anxious  spectators  lining  the  road  seemed 
to  move,  then  came  a  groom,  then  we  heard  'a  gun,  and  we 
moved  towards  the  staircase.  Another  groom  came.  Then 
we  saw  the  avant-garde  of  the  escort ;  then  the  cheers  of  the 
crowd  burst  forth.  The  outriders  appeared,  the  doors  opened, 
I  stepped  out,  the  children  and  Princes  close  behind  me  ;  the 
band  struck  up,  "  Pa-riant  pour  la  Syrie"  the  trumpets 
sounded,  and  the  open  carriage,  with  the  Emperor  and 
Empress,  Albert  sitting  opposite  to  them,  drove  up  and  they 
got  out. 

'  I  cannot  say  what  indescribable  emotions  filled  me — how 


240  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

much  all  seemed  like  a  wonderful  dream.  These  great 
meetings  of  sovereigns,  surrounded  by  very  exciting  accom 
paniments,  are  always  very  agitating.  I  advanced  and 
embraced  the  Emperor,  who  received  two  salutes  on  either 
cheek  from  me,  having  first  kissed  my  hand.  I  next  em 
braced  the  very  gentle,  graceful,  and  evidently  very  nervous 
Empress.  We  presented  the  Princes  [the  Duke  of  Cambridge 
and  the  Prince  of  Leiningen,  the  Queen's  brother],  and  our 
children  (Vicky  with  very  alarmed  eyes  making  very  low 
curtsies) ;  the  Emperor  embraced  Bertie ;  and  then  we  went 
upstairs,  Albert  leading  the  Empress,  who,  in  the  most 
engaging  manner,  refused  to  go  first,  but  at  length  with 
graceful  reluctance  did  so,  the  Emperor  leading  me,  express 
ing  his  great  gratification  at  being  here  and  seeing  me, 
and  admiring  Windsor.'  When  the  Throne  Room  was 
reached,  other  presentations  took  place,  and  the  Emperor 
and  Empress  were  then  conducted  to  their  apartments  by 
their  Royal  hosts. 

At  dinner  the  same  evening  the  charm  of  the  Emperor's 
manner  seems  to  have  quickly  produced  the  effect  of  placing 
Her  Majesty  entirely  at  ease  with  him.  He  is,  the  Diary 
continues,  '  so  very  quiet :  his  voice  is  low  and  soft,  and  "  il 
ne  fait  pas  des  phrases."  The  Emperor  said  that  he  first 
saw  me  eighteen  years  ago,  when  I  went  for  the  first  time  to 
prorogue  Parliament,  and  that  it  made  a  very  deep  impres 
sion  upon  him,  to  see  "une  jeunepersonne"  in  that  position. 
He  also  mentioned  his  having  been  a  special  constable  on 
the  10th  of  April,  1848,  and  wondered  whether  I  had  known 
it.  The  war,  and  the  news,  which  arrived  just  as  he  did,2 

2  The  besieging  batteries  opened  fire  on  the  10th  of  April.  The  telegram 
to  the  Emperor  announcing  this  fact,  -which  awaited  him  at  Dover,  was  givm 
by  him  to  the  Prince,  and  has  been  preserved  among  his  papers,  with  the  fol 
lowing  endorsement  by  himself:  '  Telegraphic  message  to  the  Emperor  of  the 
French,  which  reached  him  on  arriving  at  Dover,  and  which  he  gave  to 
me.  —A.' 


1 85  5  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  241 

of  the  opening  of  the  fire  from  400  guns,  were  a  subject  of 
conversation  also.  He  is  very  anxious  about  the  siege,  and 
said,  "favoue  que  je  crains  un  grand  desastre,  et  c'est 
pour  cela  que  je  voudrais  y  aller"  as  he  thought  "  que  nos 
generaux  "  would  take  nothing  upon  themselves.  I  then 
observed  upon  the  danger  to  which  he  might  be  exposed, 
how  great  the  distance  was,  &c.  He  rejoined,  that  there 
were  dangers  everywhere,  though  he  admitted  the  distance 
was  very  great.' 

Next  day  confirmed  the  Queen's  impression,  that  the 
Emperor  was  '  very  quiet  and  amiable,  and  easy  to  get  on 
with.  .  .  .  Nothing  can  be  more  civil  or  amiable,  or  more 
well-bred  than  the  Emperor's  manner — so  full  of  tact.'  A 
long  walk  after  breakfast,  in  the  course  of  which  the  war  and 
its  prospects  and  our  relations  with  Austria  formed  the  chief 
topic  of  conversation,3  afforded  good  opportunities  for  draw 
ing  conclusions  on  this  subject.  '  It  was  most  interesting 
to  hear  him  and  Albert  discuss  all  these  matters.  The 
Empress  was  as  eager  as  himself,  that  he  should  go  to  the 
Crimea.  .  .  .  She  takes  the  warmest  interest  in  the  war,  and 
is  all  for  the  Emperor's  going.  She  sees  no  greater  danger 
for  him  there  than  elsewhere — in  fact,  than  in  Paris.  .  .  . 
She  said  she  was  seldom  alarmed  for  him,  except  when  he 
went  out  quite  alone  of  a  morning.  .  .  .  She  is  full  of 
courage  and  spirit,  and  yet  so  gentle,  with  such  innocence 
and  enjouement,  that  the  ensemble  is  most  charming.  With 
all  her  great  liveliness,  she  has  the  prettiest  and  most  modest 
manner.  She  spoke  much  of  Spain,  and  with  sorrow  of  the 
misfortunes  of  that  country.  .  .  .'  At  luncheon  the  Ein- 


3  On  the  way  up  from  Frogmore  to  the  Castle,  'the  Emperor  admired  the 
grass,  and  said  (as  all  foreigners  do)  that  you  could  never  get  that  on  the 
Continent.'  He  tried,  however,  to  get  it,  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  and  not 
altogether  without  success.  It  was  one  of  our  many  English  institutions 
which  he  would  fain  have  seen  naturalised  in  France. 

VOL.  III.  K 


242  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

peror  asked  the  Queen  where  Queen  Marie  Amelie  was,  '  and 
on  my  replying,  in  England,  he  said  that  last  year  he  wrote 
to  Uncle  Leopold,  that  if  the  voyage  back  from  Spain  was  too 
long  for  her,  he  hoped  that  she  would  come  through  France, 
"  et  si  votre  Majeste  veut  bien  le  lui  repeter,  fen  serai  bien 
content" 

'  At  four  we  all  set  off  for  the  review  [of  the  Household 
troops  in  Windsor  Park],  which  was  a  most  beautiful  and 
excitiog  affair.  ...  In  the  first  carriage  were  the  Empress 
(whom  I  always  made  get  in  and  walk  first),  I,  Bertie, 
Vicky,  and  dear  little  Arthur.  Albert,  the  Emperor,  George 
[Duke  of  Cambridge],  and  all  the  military  gentlemen  were 
on  horseback.  The  crowd,  in  the  Long  Walk,  of  people  on 
foot  and  on  horseback  was  immense,  and  the  excitement  and 
cheering  beyond  description.4  They  squeezed  round  the 
Emperor,  when  we  came  to  the  gates,  and  rode  across  the 
grass  to  where  the  review  was  to  be,  in  such  a  way  that  I 
grew  very  nervous,,  as  he  rode  on  a  very  fiery  beautiful 
chestnut,  called  Phillips,  and  was  so  exposed.  He  rides 
extremely  well,  and  looks  well  on  horseback,  as  he  sits  high. 
He  rode  down  the  line  with  Albert  and  George,  we  following. 
After  that  we  were  stationed  to  see  the  troops  pass  by,  slow 
and  quick  time — the  Blues,  2nd  Life  Guards,  Carabineers, 
and  a  troop  of  Horse  Artillery, — Lord  Cardigan  commanding 
on  the  chestnut  horse  he  rode  at  Balaclava,  and  in  a  great 
state  of  excitement.  They  afterwards  manosuvred,  and  the 
artillery  was  seen  to  great  advantage.  The  Emperor  (who 
rode  up  several  times  to  our  carriage)  and  the  Princes  rode 
about  and  charged  with  the  cavalry,  &c.  The  whole  con 
cluded,  as  it  began,  with  the  Eoyal  salute.  We  then 


4  '  The  attendance  of  spectators  was  enormous,  and  their  eagerness  to  catch 
a  glimpse  of  the  Emperor  and  Empress  completely  frustrated  the  attempts  of 
the  dftachment  of  the  94th  Regiment  to  keep  the  ground.' — The  Times,  18th 
of  April. 


iS55  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  243 

returned  as  we  came,  and  the  enthusiasm,  the  excitement  of 
the  crowd,  were  quite  indescribable.  I  never  remember  any 
excitement  like  it.  It  was  at  moments  almost  alarming ; 
and  there  were  numbers  of  terrified  ladies  standing  on  the 
road,  clasping  one  another  for  fear  of  being  ridden  over.  .  .  . 
The  whole  was  again  quite  a  triumph.' 

The  Conferences  at  Vienna,  which  began  on  the  15th  of 
March,  were  by  this  time  drawing  to  a  close,  with  little 
prospect  of  a  satisfactory  conclusion.  It  had  early  become 
apparent  that  Eussia  would  assent  to  no  practical  plan  for 
'  putting  an  end  to  her  preponderance  in  the  Black  Sea,' 
which  formed  the  third  of  the  Four  Points  (see  note  ante-) 
p.  162).  So  early  as  the  20th  of  March  Prince  Gortschakoff. 
the  Eussian  Plenipotentiary  at  Vienna,  had  told  Lord  John 
Eussell,  that  c  Eussia  would  not  consent  to  limit  the  number 
of  her  ships — if  she  did  so,  she  forfeited  honour — she  would 
be  no  more  Eussia.  They  did  not  want  Turkey,  they  would 
be  glad  to  maintain  the  Sultan;  but  they  knew  it  was 
impossible :  he  must  perish ;  they  were  resolved  not  to  let 
any  other  Power  have  Constantinople,  they  must  not  have 
that  door  to  their  dominions  in  the  Black  Sea  shut  against 
them.'5  There  was  small  hope  of  agreement  here  ;  still  less, 
when  on  being  formally  invited  by  the  other  Powers  to 
propose  terms  to  carry  out  the  limitation  of  her  prepon 
derance  in  the  Black  Sea,  which  she  had  admitted  as  one  of 
the  conditions  of  peace,  Eussia  declined  to  do  so.  No  weight 
could  be  attached  to  the  profession  with  which  Prince 
Gortschakoff  accompanied  this  refusal,  that  Eussia  was 
prepared  to  examine  any  measures  which  might  be  proposed 
to  her  not  inconsistent  with  her  honour  ;  as  only  one  result 
could  be  anticipated,  after  the  express  declaration  which  her 
plenipotentiaries  had  made,  that  any  restriction  upon  her 

5  Lord  John  Russell,  in  a  private  Despatch  to  Lord  Clarendon,  20th  March, 
1855. 

B  2 


244  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

naval  force  in  the  Black  Sea  was  derogatory  to  the  sovereign 
rights  of  the  Emperor  their  master,  and,  (which  was  not 
easy  to  understand,)  dangerous  to  the  independence  of  the 
Ottoman  Empire.6 

The  Conferences  had  reached  this  stage,  and  it  was  ex 
pected  that  they  would  have  now  heen  broken  off,  when 
tidings  reached  England  by  telegram  on  the  17th  of  April  of  a 
proposal,  which  was  supposed  to  have  emanated  from  Austria, 
to  meet  the  difficulty  by  limiting  the  Eussian  force  in  the 
Black  Sea  to  the  number  of  ships  maintained  before  the  war, 
under  pain  of  war  from  the  Allies.  The  objections  to  this 
proposition  will  be  adverted  to  at  a  later  stage.  These  struck 
the  Prince  from  the  first  as  insuperable,  and  the  short  entry 
in  his  Diary  is, — '  News  from  Vienna  bad.  Austria  submits 
an  absurd  ultimatum.'  At  dinner  the  same  day,  Her  Majesty's 
Diary  records : — '  The  Emperor  gave  me  a  telegraphic  de 
spatch  to  read,  which  had  come  from  Vienna,  in  which  Austria 
consentirait  a  faire  la  guerre  unless  the  Eussian  fleet  were 
to  remain  the  same  as  before  the  war  (incredible  and  im 
possible  !),  added  to  some  other  propositions,  which  were 
worth  consideration.  The  Emperor,  while  condemning  the 
absurd  notion  of  "  le  chiffre  de  la  flotte  "  remaining  the  same, 
considered  that  this  was  "  un  pas  en  avant,"  Austria  having 

6  In  a  letter  dated  26th  of  March,  1855,  by  Count  Nesselrode  to  his  son- 
in-law,  Baron  Seebach,  the  Saxon  Minister  at  the  Court  of  the  Tuileries, 
which  was  written  really  a  Vadrcsse  of  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  and  of 
which  a  copy  was  at  once  forwarded  by  him  to  the  English  Government,  Count 
Nesselrode  says,  speaking  of  his  master,  '  Lempcreur,  qudlcs  que  soientscs  dis- 
positions  pacifiques,  j/'acccptera  jamais  des  conditions  semblables,  et  la  nation 
se  soumcttra  a  tous  Ics  sacrifices  plutot  que  de  les  subir.'  This  was  one  of  two 
letters,  which  will  be  found  referred  to  in  a  passage  of  the  Queen's  Diary  to 
be  presently  quoted  in  the  text,  in  which  the  most  flattering  language  towards 
France  and  the  Emperor  was  used.  '  Entre  la  France  et  la  Eussie  il  y  a  guerre 
tans  hostilite?  '  La  paix  se  fera  quand  il  (the  Emperor  of  the  French)  la 
voudra.  A  mes  yeuxla  situation  se  resume  dans  cette  verite.'  These  are  but  a 
wimple  of  the  somewhat  too  palpable  flattery  of  the  Emperor's  self-esteem 
— with  what  object  it  was  not  hard  to  divine, — which  coloured  these  letters 
throughout. 


i855  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  245 

spoken  of  going  to  war.  I  spoke  to  him  of  certain  flattering 
letters  from  Count  Nesselrode  to  Baron  Seebach,  which  he 
had  communicated  to  us  a  week  or  ten  days  ago,  and  observed 
on  the  desire  and  hope  there  had  been  and  still  was  on  the 
Continent,  that  our  alliance  could  be  broken.  He  said  that 
the  Russians  at  Paris  had  tried,  and  with  some  success,  to 
make  their  party  in  France,  and  a  good  many  other  people 
also,  believe  that  the  Eastern  Question  "  ne  regardait  que 
rAngleterre,  et  que  cela  ne  regardait  pas  la  France.  C'etait 
bien  habile  cVeux,  et  une  grande  difficult^  pour  moi." ' 

A  ball  in  the  Waterloo  Room  wound  up  the  evening.  The 
Queen  danced  a  quadrille  with  the  Emperor,  f  who  dances  with 
great  dignity  and  spirit.  .  .  .  How  strange,'  Her  Majesty  adds, 
'  to  think  that  I,  the  granddaughter  of  George  III.,  should 
dance  with  the  Emperor  Napoleon,  nephew  of  England's  great 
enemy,  now  my  nearest  and  most  intimate  ally,  in  the  Waterloo 
Room,  and  this  ally  only  six  years  ago  living  in  this  country, 
an  exile,  poor  and  unthought  of ! '  Strange  indeed  !  and  none 
could  have  been  so  deeply  impressed  by  the  contrast  as  the 
Emperor  himself,  when  he  looked  round  at  the  portraits,  with 
which  the  room  is  panelled,  of  the  great  statesmen  and 
soldiers,  the  struggle  and  glory  of  whose  lives  it  had  been  to 
hold  his  famous  ancestor  in  check.  '  We  went  to  supper,' 
the  Diary  continues,  '  the  Emperor  leading  me,  and  Albert 
the  Empress.  Her  manner  is  the  most  perfect  thing  I  have 
ever  seen — so  gentle  and  graceful,  and  kind,  the  courtesy  so 
charming,  and  so  modest  and  retiring  withal.' 

Next  morning  at  breakfast  the  Emperor  received  a  telegram 
announcing  the  death  of  M.  Ducos,  his  Minister  of  Marine, 
and  in  a  walk  with  the  Queen  he  remarked  how  extraordinary  it 
was  that  he  should  have  to  name  his  successor,  Admiral 
Hamelin,  from  Windsor.  At  eleven  a  Council  of  War  met 
in  the  Emperor's  apartments,  at  which  the  Prince,  Lords 
Palmerston,  Panmure,  Hardinge,  and  Cowley,  Sir  Charles 


246  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

Wood,  Sir  John  Burgoyne,  Count  Walewski,  and  Marshal 
Vaillant  were  present.  The  task  of  drawing  up  a  protocol  of 
this  conference  seems  by  general  consent  to  have  been  de 
volved  upon  the  Prince,  and  it  now  lies  before  us  in  his 
own  hand,  with  a  few  pencil  marks  of  approval  upon  it  by 
Marshal  Vaillant.  During  the  discussion,  it  appears  by 
the  Prince's  statement,  '  the  necessity  of  making  a  vigorous 
diversion  was  strongly  insisted  upon  by  the  Emperor,  who 
had  thought  much  upon  the  subject,  and  still  combines  with 
the  plan  the  wish  to  carry  it  out  himself.  All  present  de 
clared  themselves  unanimously  against  the  Emperor's  scheme 
of  going  himself  to  the  Crimea,  but  without  obtaining  from 
him  the  admission  that  he  was  shaken  in  his  resolution  to 
do  so.'  After  many  hours  the  meeting  broke  up  without 
coming  to  any  definite  conclusion. 

4  In  a  subsequent  walk  I  took  with  the  Emperor,'  says  the 
Prince's  Memorandum,  '  I  expressed  my  deep  regret  at  the 
insufficiency  of  the  decisions  come  to  in  the  morning,  which 
after  all  left  everything  vague,  afforded  the  commanders  no 
precise  data  to  go  upon  and  adhere  to,  and  left  out  the  con 
sideration  of  who  was  to  command,  and  how  the  corps  were 
to  be  composed,  on  which  success  would  absolutely  depend. 
I  lamented  that  this,  perhaps  last,  opportunity  of  coming  to 
a  thorough  agreement  between  the  Governments  should  be 
lost.  The  Emperor  agreed  fully  in  this,  and  explained  to 
me  further  his  plan  of  operations,  which  he  hoped  to  execute 
himself.'  This  conversation  led  to  the  Prince  striking  out  a 

o 

definite  plan  of  operations,  different  from  any  of  those  which 
had  been  suggested,  which  he  put  in  form  in  a  Memoran 
dum,  and  showed  to  the  Emperor  in  the  evening,  who  '  ex 
pressed  his  entire  approbation  of  it.'  The  Memorandum  was 
then  sent  to  Lord  Palmerston,  and  after  being  canvassed  by 
him  in  conference  with  Lords  Panmure  and  Hardinge,  and 
Sir  John  Burgoyne,  the  latter  was  instructed  to  put  upon 


1 85 5  O/7  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  247 

paper  the  result  of  their  united  deliberations,  previous  to  a 
further  Council  of  War,  which  had  been  arranged  for 
the  20th. 

From  Her  Majesty's  Diary  we  extract  some  homely  inci 
dents  in  connection  with  the  Council  of  the  18th.  It  had 
met  at  eleven.  Two  o'clock,  the  hour  of  luncheon,  arrived, 
and  found  it  still  sitting,  although  informed  that  the  Queen 
and  Empress  were  waiting.  '  After  waiting  a  little  while,  the 
Empress  went  and  told  Lord  Cowley  how  late  it  was.'  There 
was  to  be  a  Chapter  of  the  Order  of  the  Grarter  at  four,  and 
important  preparations  of  the  royal  toilettes,  with  a  view  to 
this  august  ceremonial,  were  indispensable.  Still  no  one  ap 
peared.  '  After  a  little  while  the  Empress  advised  me  to  go  to 
them — "Je  n'ose  entrer,  mais  votre  Majeste  lepeut ;  cela  vous 
regarded  So  I  went  through  the  Emperor's  room  (the  council- 
room  adjoined  his  bedroom),  and  knocked,  and  at  last  stepped 
in,  and  asked  what  we  should  do.  The  Emperor  and  Albert  got 
up,  and  said  they  would  come.  However,  they  did  not ; '  so 
after  a  little  further  waiting  the  Queen  and  Empress,  with 
their  ladies,  had  to  lunch  alone. 

At  four  o'clock  the  Emperor  was  invested  by  the  Queen 
with  the  Order  of  the  Grarter  in  the  Throne  Koom.  After 
the  ceremony,  '  as  we  were  going  along  to  the  Emperor's 
apartments,  he  said,  "  Je  remercie  bien  votre  Majeste.  C'est 
un  lien  de  plus;  fed  prete  serment  de  fidelite  a  votre 
Majeste*  et  je  le  garderai  soigneusement"  He  added  a  little 
later,  "  C'est  un  grand  evenement  pour  moi,  et  fespere 
pouvoir  prouver  ma  reconnaissance  a  votre  Majeste  et  a 
son  pays"  These  words  are  valuable  from  a  man  like  him, 
who  is  not  profuse  in  phrases,  and  who  is  very  steady 
of  purpose.'  At  dinner,  among  other  topics,  that  of  the 
French  refugees  in  London  came  up.  '  He  said  that  when 
assassination  was  loudly  and  openly  advocated,  they  should 
not  enjoy  hospitality.  .  .  .  We  talked  of  the  various  at- 


248  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

tempts  on  myself,  which  he  thought  were  too  atrocious  as 
against  a  woman.  As  for  himself,  he  said  he  had  the  same 
opinion  as  his  uncle,  which  was,  that  when  there  was  a  con 
spiracy  that  was  known,  and  you  could  take  your  precautions, 
there  was  no  danger ;  but  that,  when  a  fanatic  chose  to  attack 
you,  and  to  sacrifice  his  own  life,  you  could  do  little  or 
nothing  to  prevent  it.'  7 

'We  talked  of  the  Revolution  in  1848,  and  the  horrors  in 
June.  He  said  he  had  met  Greorge  [Duke  of  Cambridge] 
driving,  and  that  George  had  said  half-jokingly,  "Eat-ce  qu'on 
se  bat  pour  vous  a  Paris  ?  "  He  answered,  "  There  was  no 
question  of  him,  et  cependant  deja  on  se  battait  pour  moi 
alors  !  "  Speaking  of  the  want  of  liberty  attaching  to  our 
position,  he  said  the  Empress  felt  this  greatly,  and  called  the 
Tuileries  une  belle  prison.  He  himself  shared  the  feeling 
strongly:  "J'ai  pleure  de  chaudes  larmes  en  quittant 
VAngleterre" 

'  After  dinner,'  the  same  record  continues,  '  I  had  some 
conversation  with  Marechal  Yaillant.8  He  is  very  much 
against  the  Emperor's  going  to  the  Crimea,  and  hoped  I  had 
spoken  to  him.  I  said,  "J'ai  ose  faire  quelques  observa 
tions"  (t  Mon  Dieu,  oser  !  "  he  replied.  "  Quand  on  est 
ensemble,  il  faut  parler  nettement ; "  that  the  danger  was 
very  great ;  that  the  plan  of  the  Emperor  was  a  very  good 
one  ;  and  that,  if  any  other  general  executed  it  and  failed,  it 
would  not  signify ;  but  the  Emperor,  the  sovereign,  that  was 
a  risk  too  serious  to  be  run ;  that  even  for  us,  though  it  could 

7  On  the  29th  of  April,  a  few  days  after  his  return  to  Paris,  while  riding  in 
the  Champs  Elysees,  he  was  shot  at  by  an  Italian,  Giacomo  Pianori.     The 
assassin,  who  was  close  to  the  Emperor,  fired  twice,  but  missed.     Revenge  for 
the  French  occupation  of  Rome  was  said  to  be  Pianori's  motive.     The  Ernperor 
showed  no  signs  of  disquietude,  and  rode  on  at  a  foot's  pace  to  the  Empress, 
who  was  driving  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne. 

8  '  Marechal  Vaillant,  Ministre  de  la  Guerre.     Tall  and  very  large,  quite 
in   the    style  of  Lablache,  with  small,   fine  features — a  charming,  amusing, 
clever,  and  honest  old  man,  who  is  an  universal  favourite.' — Queens  Diary. 


1 85 5  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  249 

not  injure  us  in  the  way  it  might  injure  France,  an  echec 
would  be  very  serious  :  "  vous  etes  dans  le  meme  bateau  ; " 
and,  lastly,  he  thought  there  was  great  danger  to  France  in  the 
Emperor's  absence.  He  hoped,  however,  that  the  Council 
had  had  some  effect  on  him.  "  Le  Prince  votre  epoux  a  ete 
Men  net"  and  had  always  brought  people  back  to  the  point 
when  they  digressed.  The  Emperor  told  me,  if  it  had  not 
been  for  Albert,  nothing  would  have  been  done.' 

An  orchestral  concert  closed  the  evening.  In  concluding 
her  record  of  the  day,  the  Queen  says  of  the  Emperor,  '  His 
manners  are  particularly  good,  easy,  quiet,  and  dignified — as 
if  he  had  been  born  a  king's  son,  and  brought  up  for  the 
place.' 

April  .19. — The  Emperor  had  received  an  Address  from  the 
Corporation  of  London  at  Windsor  Castle  on  the  day  after  his 
arrival.  The  Empress  and  himself  were  now  to  partake  of 
their  hospitality  in  the  City  itself.  The  day,  like  all  the 
days  of  his  visit,  was  bright  and  fine.  When  left  alone  with 
the  Queen  and  Prince  after  breakfast,  the  Emperor  said, '  "  Je 
vais  maintenant,  si  votre  Majeste  le  permet,  lui  lire  ma 
reponse  a  VAdresse  de  la  Cite"  which  he  had  already  told 
me  yesterday  he  would  do,  "  afin  de  savoir,  si  vous  aviez 
quelques  observations  a  faire"  He  then  read  it  to  us  in 
French,  and  we  could  only  assent  to  everything  in  it,  as  it  is 
an  admirable  speech  ; 9  and  as  everything  he  says  or  writes  is 


9  The  speech  was  received  throughout  the  country  with  general  approval  ; 
such  passages  as  the  following  could  not  fail  to  tell,  for  they  echoed  the  hearty 
wish  of  the  kingdom,  that  France  should  bury  all  remembrance  of  past 
conflicts  in  a  friendship  based  on  mutual  regard  and  the  interlacing  of 
reciprocal  interests.  '  Flattering  as  are  your  praises,  I  accept  them,  because 
they  are  addressed  much  more  to  France  than  to  myself ;  they  are  addressed 
to  a  nation,  whose  interests  are  to-day  everywhere  identical  with  your  own  ; 
they  are  addressed  to  an  army  and  navy  united  to  yours  by  an  heroic  com 
panionship  in  danger  and  in  glory;  they  are  addressed  to  the  policy  of  the  two 
Governments,  which  is  based  on  truth,  on  moderation,  and  on  justice.  For 
myself.  I  have  retained  on  the  throne  the  same  sentiments  of  sympathy  and 


250  VISIT   TO  ENGLAND  1855 

the  result  of  mature  reflection,  and  is  always  recurred  to  and 
remembered,  it  is  of  great  importance.  He  then  asked  leave 
to  read  it  in  English  (into  which  he  had  had  it  translated), 
requesting  us  to  correct  his  pronunciation,  which  we  did, 
though  it  required  but  little  correction  ;  and  he  also  asked 
our  advice  about  one  or  two  expressions.  He  did  all  this 
very  naturally  and  frankly.' 

At  eleven  o'clock  the  Queen  and  Prince  left  Windsor  Castle, 
with  their  Imperial  guests,  for  London.  '  I  cannot  say  why,' 
again  to  quote  Her  Majesty's  Diary,  '  but  their  departure 
made  me  melancholy.  .  .  .  Passing  through  the  rooms,  the 
hall,  and  down  the  staircase,  with  all  its  State  guards,  and 
the  fine  old  yeomen ;  the  very  melancholy  tune  (which 
"  Partant  pour  la  Syrie "  is)  ;  the  feeling  that  all,  about 
which  there  had  been  so  much  excitement,  trouble,  anxiety, 
and  expectation,  was  past ;  the  doubtfulness  of  the  future- 
all  made  me,  I  know  not  why,  quite  "  wehmilthig ; "  and  1 
hear  that  the  Empress  was  equally  sad  at  going  away  from 
Windsor.' 10  Speaking  of  the  Empress,  the  Queen  remarks 
the  same  day,  '  Altogether  I  am  delighted  to  see  how  much 
Albert  likes  and  admires  her,  as  it  is  so  seldom  I  see  him 
do  so  with  any  woman.' 

From  Buckingham  Palace  the  Emperor  and  Empress  pro 
ceeded  alone  in  full  state  to  Guildhall.  The  line  of  the  pro 
cession  was  thronged  with  eager  multitudes.  '  While  we  were 
at  luncheon,'  the  Queen  writes,  'we  heard  that  they  had 


esteem  for  the  English  people,  that  I  professed  as  an  exile,  while  I  enjoyed 
here  the  hospitality  of  your  Queen  ;  and  if  I  have  acted  in  accordance  with 
my  convictions,  it  is  that  the  interest  of  the  nation,  which  has  chosen  me,  no 
less  than  that  of  universe!  civilisation,  has  made  it  a  duty.  Indeed,  England 
and  France  are  naturally  united  on  all  the  great  questions  of  politics  arid  of 
human  progress  that  agitate  the  world.' 

10  The  sadness  might  almost  be  said  to  be  prophetic  of  the  changed  circum 
stances  under  which  first  the  Empress,  and  sometime  later  the  Emperor,  after 
he  left  Wilhelmshohe,  discrowned  and  bankrupt  in  fortune,  were  to  see  their 
Royal  host,  herself  a  widowed  queen,  again  on  the  same  spot. 


1855  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  251 

reached  the  City  in  safety — a  great  relief,  though  I  dreaded 
nothing.  Albert  was  engaged  the  whole  afternoon  in  writing 
a  Memorandum  on  the  Council  of  yesterday,  and  elucidating 
the  intended  plans.'  The  Emperor  and  Empress  returned  to 
the  Palace  about  six,  charmed  with  the  way  they  had  been 
everywhere  received.  The  Corporation  had  spared  no  pains 
to  make  their  reception  memorable ; ll  and  the  Emperor's 
knowledge  of  the  English  enabled  him  to  appreciate  the 
cordiality  shown  by  the  crowds,  that  waited  in  the  streets  to 
greet  their  return,  as  they  had  greeted  their  going. 

In  the  evening  a  state  visit  was  paid  to  Her  Majesty's 
Theatre.  The  opera  was  '  Fidelio.'  'Never,'  the  Queen 
writes,  '  did  I  see  such  enormous  crowds  at  night,  all  in  the 
highest  good  humour.  We  literally  drove  through  a  sea  of 
human  beings,  cheering  and  pressing  near  the  carriage. 
The  streets  were  beautifully  illuminated.  There  were  many 
devices  of  N.E.  V.A.,  which,  the  Emperor  said,  oddly  enough 
made  "  Neva  !  "  This  seemed  to  have  impressed  him,  for  he 
said  that  he  had  observed  it  before  at  Boulogne.'  '  On 
entering  the  theatre,'  here  we  quote  from  the  Morning 
Post,  '  the  Queen,  taking  the  Emperor  by  the  hand,  led  him 
forward,  and  bowing  to  the  people  with  a  grace  and  frankness 
beyond  expression,  presented  to  them  her  Imperial  guest, 
whilst  Prince  Albert  led  forward  the  beautiful  Eugenie.'  The 
Queen  had  indeed  taken  care  to  indicate  her  own  feeling, 
'  that  the  Emperor  was  the  principal  person  on  that  occasion, 
and  Her  Majesty  records  that  'the  applause  for  him  was 
very  marked.  .  .  .  The  Emperor  told  me  that  after  our 
marriage  in  1840,  when  we  went  in  state  to  Covent  Garden, 
he  had  with  great  difficulty  obtained  a  box,  and  afterwards 
they  made  him  pay  40£,  for  it,  "  que  je  trouvais  pourtant 

11  The  sherry  served  at  the  Imperial  table  during  the  dejeuner  "was  part  of  a 
Imtt  supplied  to  the  Emperor  Napoleon  I.  at  the  enormous  price  of  600/.  per 
butt.  So,  at  least,  the  chroniclers  of  the  day  reported. 


252  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

beaucoup  ! "  On  this  night  I  hear  one  person  gave  100£. 
for  a  box.'  On  his  return  to  the  Palace,  the  Emperor  found 
fresh  news  of  the  progress  of  the  bombardment  awaiting 
him  from  Sebastopol,  '  which,  he  hoped,  sounded  favourable ; 
but  Albert  was  doubtful,  and  the  Emperor  said,  "  J'ai  bien 
peur  que  h  Prince  n'ait  raison." '  The  Prince  was  right ; 
for  the  bombardment  failed  to  silence  the  Eussian  batteries, 
which  were  replaced  as  fast  as  they  were  disabled.12 

The  next  day  (20th  April)  was  devoted  to  a  visit  to  the 
Crystal  Palace  at  Sydenham.  It  had  been  opened  the 
previous  year,  and  the  interest  and  curiosity  created  by  the 
novelty  of  the  structure,  the  beauty  of  its  site,  and  the  variety 
and  richness  of  its  contents,  were  still  fresh.  The  Emperor 
was  at  this  time  much  occupied  with  the  preparations  for 
the  first  of  the  great  Paris  International  Exhibitions.  This 
remarkable  building  might  therefore  be  assumed  to  have  a 
special  interest  for  him ;  and  it  was  besides  not  unfitly 
selected  for  a  visit,  as  showing  how  private  enterprise  in 
England  had  accomplished,  on  a  scale  of  more  than  Imperial 
splendour,  what  in  any  other  country  could  only  have  been 
produced  by  Imperial  means. 

'  We  discovered,'  again  to  quote  from  Her  Majesty's  Diary, 
'  that  this  was  his  birthday — his  forty-seventh — and  though 
not  feted,  or  taken  notice  of  publicly,  we  felt  we  could  not 
do  otherwise  than  take  private  notice  of  it.  Consequently, 
when  we  went  along  the  corridor  to  meet  him,  I  wished  him 
joy.  He  seemed  for  a  moment  not  to  know  to  what  I 
alluded,  then  smiled,  and  kissed  my  hand,  and  thanked  me, 
and  I  gave  him  a  pencil-case.  .  .  .  The  Emperor  was  also 
very  much  pleased  at  (Prince)  Arthur's  giving  him  two 
violets — the  flower  of  the  Bonapartes.' 

12  On  the  17th  of  April,  in  a  private  Despatch  to  Lord  Panmure,  LordKaglan 
wrote  :  '  I  believe  there  was  never  such  a  siege  as  this  before.  The  resources 
of  Russia  are  endless.' 


1855  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  253 

The  day  was  magnificent.  Immense  crowds  lined  the 
roads,  and  the  Queen  notes  the  frequency  of  the  cries  of 
6  Vive  VEmpereur '  (sometimes  in  the  cockney  form, 
'Vive  le  Hemperor ')  and  'Vive  V  ImperatriceJ  which 
saluted  them  as  they  passed  along.  No  strangers  were 
admitted  to  the  Palace  until  after  the  Royal  party  had 
completed  their  inspection  of  its  contents.  This  over,  they 
stepped  out  upon  the  balcony  to  look  at  the  gardens,  and 
were  struck  with  admiration,  as  the  splendid  panorama  of 
field  and  woodland,  intermingled  with  villages  and  church 
spires — that  landscape  so  truly  English  in  all  its  features — 
stretching  away  in  the  clear  air  for  about  twenty  miles,  burst 
upon  their  view.  Straightway  from  the  terrace  below,  where 
upwards  of  twenty  thousand  people  were  assembled,  rose  cheer 
after  cheer,  '  with  a  volume  and  fervour,'  says  The  Times, 
'  which  were  quite  overwhelming.  The  august  personages, 
who  were  the  objects  of  this  demonstration,  seemed  greatly 
moved.  Even  the  Emperor,  impassive  as  he  is  in  manner, 
was  evidently  excited,  and  the  animated  features  of  the 
Empress  were  lit  up  with  an  expression  of  astonishment  and 
gratification.' 

On  returning  to  the  Palace  after  luncheon  the  Royal 
visitors  found  it  filled  with  people,  who  lined  the  avenue  of 
the  nave,  and  cheered  them  enthusiastically  as  they  passed 
along  towards  the  balcony,  from  which  they  were  to  see  the 
fountains  play,  the  upper  series  of  which  had  just  been 
completed  and  were  now  put  in  motion  for  the  first  time. 
'  Nothing,'  the  Queen  writes,  ( could  have  succeeded  better. 
Still  I  own  I  felt  anxious,  as  we  passed  along  through  the  mul 
titude  of  people,  who,  after  all,  were  very  close  to  us.  I  felt,  as 
I  walked  on  the  Emperor's  arm,  that  I  was  possibly  a  protec 
tion  for  him.  All  thoughts  of  nervousness  for  myself  were  past. 
I  thought  only  of  him ;  and  so  it  is,  Albert  says,  when  one 
forgets  oneself,  one  loses  this  great  and  foolish  nervousness.' 


254  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

At  six  o'clock  the  same  evening  a  Council  was  held  to 
settle  the  plan  of  future  operations  in  the  Crimea.  Sir  John 
Burgoyne  had  embodied  his  views  in  a  Memorandum,  and 
Lord  Palmerston,  in  transmitting  it  to  the  Prince,  had  him 
self  gone  into  the  question  at  great  length.  The  various 
views  thus  represented  were  discussed  in  detail,  and  again 
the  Prince  was  charged  with  the  duty  of  reducing  the  results 
to  writing.  '  We  agreed,'  he  mentions  in  a  Memorandum 
next  day,  '  that  it  was  unnecessary  and  loss  of  time  to  discuss 
further  particular  modes  of  operation,  for  which  there  might 
be  as  many  plans  as  heads,  and  none  worth  much,  if  made  at 
a  distance  from  the  scene  of  action  ;  chat  the  chief  point  to 
arrive  at  was  the  organisation  of  the  armies  which  were  to 
operate,  "  de  se  decider  sur  la  valeur  de  la  piece,  avant  de 
vouloir  jouer  la  partie,  et  de  rendre  nos  capitaux  fluides" 
...  I  then  drew  up  a  kind  of  scheme  of  agreement  in  seven 
heads,  ...  to  be  signed  on  the  part  of  both  contracting 
parties.'  It  was  so  signed  next  day  by  Lord  Panmure  and 
Marshal  Vaillant.  '  The  Emperor,'  adds  the  Prince,  «  has 
throughout  acted  with  thorough  good  faith  and  good 
temper.' 

The  presence  of  the  Queen  at  this  Council  was  of  course 
indispensable.  Besides  the  Emperor  and  the  Prince, 
Marshal  Vaillant,  Lords  Palmerston,  Clarendon,  and 
Panmure  were  also  present.  The  occasion  and  the  men 
were  alike  remarkable.  6  It  was,'  says  the  Koyal  Diary,  '  one 
of  the  most  interesting  scenes  I  was  ever  present  at.  I 
would  not  have  missed  it  for  the  world.' 

Next  day  (21st  April)  was  the  day  of  departure.  In  the 
long  and  confidential  interviews  which  had  taken  place 
between  them,  hosts  and  guests  had  been  drawn  so  closely 
together,  that  the  parting  was  that  of  friends,  and  therefore 
not  unmixed  with  pain.  The  Empero r's  last  act  was  to 
inscribe  his  name  in  Her  Majesty's  Album.  As  he  returned 


i855  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  255 

it  to  her,  he  said,  '  J'ai  tdche  cTecrire  ce  que  je  sens.'  The 
words  were :  '  Je  porte  a  votre  Majeste  les  sentiments  qu'on 
eprouve  pour  une  reine  et  pour  une  sceur,  devouement 
respectueux,  tendre  amitie. — NAPOLEON.' 

'  As  we  were  going  along  to  the  door,  the  Emperor  said, 
how  much  he  had  felt  our  kindness — what  a  607?,  souvenir 
they  would  carry  back,  &c.  "  N'est-ce  pas,  vous  viendrez  a 
Paris  cet  ete,  si  vouspouvez?"  I  replied  :  "Certainly,  provided 
my  public  duties  did  not  prevent  me,"  which  he  understood. 
He  said  :  "  Je  crois,  que  d*  avoir  passe  mon  jour  de  naissance 
avec  votre  Majeste  me  portera  bonheur,  et  le  petit  crayon 
que  vous  m'avez  donne."  ' 

Amid  warm  words  of  mutual  regret,  not  wholly  unmingled 
with  tears,  farewell  was  said.  '  Away  they  drove,'  to  quote 
once  more  the  vivid  record  to  which  we  already  owe  so  much, 
'  the  band  playing  "  Partant  pour  la  Syrie  "  (which  we  had 
heard  fourteen  times  on  Thursday),  and  we  ran  up  to  see  them 
from  the  very  saloon  in  which  we  had  just  been  together. 
The  Emperor  and  Empress  saw  us  at  the  window,  turned 
round,  got  up,  and  bowed  (Albert  and  George  in  the  carriage 
with  them).  We  watched  them  with  the  glittering  escort 
till  they  could  be  seen  no  more,  and  then  returned  to  our 
rooms. 

'  Thus  has  this  visit,  this  great  event,  passed  like  every 
thing  else  in  this  world.  It  is  a  dream,  a  brilliant,  successful, 
pleasant  dream,  the  recollection  of  which  is  firmly  fixed  in  my 
mind.  On  all  it  has  left  a  pleasant,  satisfactory  impression. 
It  went  off  so  well — not  a  hitch  or  contretemps — fine  weather, 
everything  smiling  ;  the  nation  enthusiastic,  and  happy  in 
the  firm  and  intimate  alliance  and  union  of  two  great  coun 
tries,  whose  enmity  would  be  fatal.  We  have  war  now 
certainly,  but  war  which  does  not  threaten  our  shores,  our 
homes,  and  internal  prosperity,  which  war  with  France  ever 
must  do.  ...  I  am  glad  to  have  known  this  extraordinary 


256  VISIT  TO  ENGLAND  1855 

man,  whom  it  is  certainly  impossible  not  to  like  when  you 
live  with  him,  and  not  even  to  a  considerable  extent  to  admire. 
...  I  believe  him  to  be  capable  of  kindness,  affection, 
friendship,  and  gratitude.  I  feel  confidence  in  him  as 
regards  the  future.  I  think  he  is  frank,  means  well  towards 
us,  and  as  Stockmar  (with  whom  I  afterwards  talked)  says, 
"  that  we  have  ensured  his  sincerity  and  good  faith  towards 
us  for  the  rest  of  his  life."  He  (Stockmar)  is  delighted  at 
the  visit  and  our  behaviour.13 

'Albert  returned  at  five.  .  .  .  He  felt  just  as  I  did — much 
pleased  with  everything,  liking  the  Emperor  and  Empress 
(the  latter  particularly),  and  being  very  much  interested  in 
them.  .  .  . 

'  The  Emperor  wrote  in  Bertie's  Autograph  Book  the 
following  very  pretty  lines,  which  had  been  originally  written 
for  himself : — 

'  Jiingling  mit  der  reinen  Seele, 
Mit  der  Unschnld  freiem  Gefiihle, 
Priif  und  wahle, 
Aber  Lob  sei  nie  dein  Ziel ! 
Ob  Dir  Beifall  jauchzt  die  Menge, 
Ob  sie  lasterfc,  wanke  nicht. 

13  In  a  Memorandum  addressed  to  the  Queen  (dated  22nd  April)  by  Baron 
Stockmar.  who  politically  bore  the  Emperor  no  goodwill,  the  following  passage 
occurs  :  'Whatever  his  sins  against  morality  have  been  till  now,  the  reception 
he  has  met  with  in  this  country  will,  for  his  whole  life,  prevent  him  from 
sinning  against  England.  The  force  of  the  sincerity,  gentle  kindness,  and 
cordiality,  with  which  he  and  his  lady  were  treated  whilst  under  the  Queen's 
roof,  can  hardly  have  failed  to  make  a  deep  and  lasting  impression  on  his 
mind.  Acute  as  he  is,  he  will  compare  the  singleness  and  honesty  of  purpose 
he  found  here  with  what  he  experienced  in  this  respect  formerly  and  else 
where,  and  become  convinced  that  his  greatest  political  advantage  will  be 
derived  from  being  steady  and  true  in  his  alliance  with  England.'  The 
Baron  expects,  therefore,  '  that  the  personal  honesty  of  the  Emperor  to  this 
country  has  been  secured  by  this  visit,  and  that  the  success  of  it  is  chiefly 
owing  to  the  Queen  and  the  Prince,  whose  conduct  on  the  occasion  has  been 
perfection.' 


1 855  OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON.  257 

Triiglich  oft  sind  Preisgesange, 
Doch  der  Wahrheit  Pfad  ist  enge, 
Zwischen  Kliiften  geht  die  Pflicht.u 

'  I  am  sure  this  is  what  he  feels  himself,  and  believes  him 
self  to  have  done,  and  to  be  doing.' 

The  immediate  effect  of  the  cordial  reception  given  to  the 
Emperor  in  this  country  was  to  increase  his  popularity  at 
home.  This  was  perceptible  in  the  warmth  with  which  he 
was  greeted  both  in  Boulogne  and  Paris  on  his  way  back 
from  England.  But,  on  his  return,  he  found  the  difficulties 
of  the  political  situation  so  gravely  increased  by  the  failure 
of  the  negotiations  at  Vienna,  while  the  impossibility  of 
leaving  a  Government  behind,  which  either  the  country  or 
himself  could  trust,  was  so  apparent,  and  the  alarm  created 
by  the  rumour  of  his  intention  to  go  to  the  Crimea  so  general, 
that  he  came,  though  with  extreme  reluctance,  to  the  conclu 
sion  that  it  must  be  abandoned.  This  not  unwelcome  news 
was  conveyed  to  the  Queen  in  a  letter  which  he  addressed 
to  Her  Majesty  on  25th  of  April,  from  which  we  translate  the 
following  passage : — 

'  Though  I  have  been  three  days  in  Paris,  I  am  still  with  Your 
Majesty  in  thought ;  and  I  feel  it  to  be  my  first  duty  again  to 
assure  you,  how  deep  is  the  impression  left  upon  my  mind  by 
the  reception,  so  full  of  grace  and  affectionate  kindness,  vouch 
safed  to  me  by  Your  Majesty.  Political  interests  first  brought 
us  into  contact,  but  to-day,  permitted  as  I  have  been  to  become 

14  Youth,  of  soul  unstain'd  and  pure, 

Innocent  and  fresh  in  feeling, 
Choose  and  ponder,  but  be  sure, 

World's  praise  never  sways  thy  dealing  \ 
Though  the  crowd  with  plaudits  hail  thee, 
Though  their  calumnies  assail  thee, 
Swerve  not :  but  remember,  youth, 

Minstrel  praises  oft  betray, 
Narrow  is  the  path  of  Truth, 

Duty  threads  'twixt  chasms  her  way. 

VOL.  III.  S 


258  CHARACTER   OF  EMPEROR  NAPOLEON        1855 

personally  known  to  Your  Majesty,  it  is  a  living  and  respectful 
sympathy  by  which  I  am,  and  shall  be  henceforth,  bound  to 
Your  Majesty.  In  truth,  it  is  impossible  to  live  for  a  few 
days  as  an  inmate  of  your  home  without  yielding  to  the  charm 
inseparable  from  the  spectacle  of  the  grandeur  and  the  happiness 
of  the  most  united  of  families.  Your  Majesty  has  also  touched 
me  to  the  heart  by  the  delicacy  of  the  consideration  shown  to  the 
Empress  ;  for  nothing  pleases  more,  than  to  see  the  person  one 
loves  become  the  object  of  such  flattering  attentions.' 

In  the  same  letter  the  Emperor  dwells  with  the  emphasis 
of  gratitude  on  the  '  frank  friendship '  shown  to  him  by  the 
Prince,  and  on  the  high  tone  of  mind  and  penetrating  judg 
ment,  by  contact  with  which  he  had  learned  so  much. 

Some  days  later  (2nd  of  May),  the  Queen  embodied  in  a 
Memorandum  the  results  of  the  study  of  the  Emperor's 
character,  which  the  facilities  of  observation  afforded  by  his 
visit  had  enabled  her  to  make.  From  this  we  extract  the 
following  passages : — 

'  The  great  advantage  to  be  derived  for  the  permanent 
alliance  of  England  and  France,  which  is  of  such  vital  im 
portance  to  both  countries,  from  the  Emperor's  recent  visit, 
I  take  to  be  this :  that  with  his  peculiar  character  and  views, 
which  are  very  personal,  a  kind,  unaffected,  and  hearty  re 
ception  by  us  personally  in  our  own  family  will  make  a 
lasting  impression  on  his  mind.  He  will  see  that  he  can 
rely  upon  our  friendship  and  honesty  towards  him  and  his 
country,  so  long  as  he  remains  faithful  towards  us.  Natu 
rally  frank,  he  will  see  the  advantage  to  be  derived  from 
continuing  so ;  and  if  he  reflects  upon  the  downfall  of  the 
former  dynasty,  he  will  see  that  it  arose  chiefly  from  a 
breach  of  pledges  and  ambiguous  conduct  towards  this 
country  and  its  Sovereign,  and  will  be  sure,  if  I  be  not  very 
much  mistaken  in  his  character,  to  avoid  such  a  course. 

'  It  must  likewise  not  be  overlooked  that  this  kindly 
feeling  towards  us,  and  consequently  towards  England  (the 


i855  'BY  THE  QUEEN.  259 

interests  of  which  are  inseparable  from  us),  must  be  increased 
when  it  is  remembered  that  we  are  almost  the  only  people  in 
his  own  position  with  whom  he  has  been  able  to  be  on  terms 
of  intimacy,  consequently  almost  the  only  ones  to  whom  he 
could  talk  easily  and  unreservedly.  ...  It  is,  therefore, 
natural  to  believe  that  he  will  not  willingly  separate  from 
those  who,  like  us,  do  not  scruple  to  put  him  in  possession 
of  the  real  facts,  and  whose  conduct  is  guided  by  justice  and 
honesty.  .  ,  .  I  would  go  still  further  :  I  think  that  it  is  in 
our  power  to  keep  him  in  the  right  course.  .  .  .  We  should 
never  lose  the  opportunity  of  checking  in  the  bud  any  attempt 
on  the  part  of  his  agents  or  ministers  to  play  us  false,  frankly 
informing  him  of  the  facts,  and  encouraging  him  to  bring 
forward  in  an  equally  frank  manner  whatever  he  has  to 
complain  of.  This  is  the  course  which  we  have  hitherto 
pursued,  and,  as  he  is  France  in  his  own  sole  person,  it 
becomes  of  the  utmost  importance  to  encourage  by  every 
means  in  our  power  that  very  open  intercourse  which  I  must 
say  has  existed  between  him  and  Lord  Cowley  for  the  last 
year  and  a  half,  and  now,  since  our  personal  intercourse,  with 
ourselves.  .  .  . 

'  In  a  letter  said  to  have  been  written  by  the  Emperor  to 
Mr.  F.  Campbell,  the  translator  of  M.  Thiers's  History  of 
the  Consulate  and  Empire,  when  returning  the  proof-sheets 
of  his  translation  in  1847,  he  says:  'Let  us  hope  the  day 
may  yet  come  when  I  shall  carry  out  the  intentions  of  my 
uncle,  by  uniting  the  policy  and  interests  of  England  and 
France  in  an  indissoluble  alliance.  That  hope  cheers  and 
encourages  me.  It  forbids  my  repining  at  the  altered 
fortunes  of  my  family.'  If  these  be  truly  his  words,  he 
certainly  has  acted  up  to  them  since  he  has  swayed  with  an 
iron  hand  the  destinies  of  the  French  nation.' 


9  2 


260 


CHAPTER   LXIII. 

WHILE  the  Allied  Sovereigns  were  settling,  in  concert  with 
their  constitutional  advisers,  the  organisation  of  the  forces 
to  be  employed  in  the  prosecution  of  the  war,  the  House  of 
Commons  was  determining  how  England's  share  of  the 
expense  was  to  be  provided.  Mismanagement,  always  costly, 
is  never  more  costly  than  in  war, — not  merely  in  men's  lives, 
a  nation's  best  wealth, — but  through  the  necessity  which 
it  creates  for  retrieving  omissions,  and  replacing  losses  in 
extreme  haste  and  at  any  price.  To  continue  Mr.  Glad 
stone's  plan  of  meeting  the  expenses  of  the  war  out  of  the 
annual  revenue  was  now  impossible.  Although  the  estimated 
income  for  the  year  was  close  upon  sixty-three  millions  and 
a  half,  the  expenditure  was  calculated  at  nearly  twenty-three 
millions  in  excess  of  this  sum.  On  the  20th  of  April  Sir 
George  Cornewall  Lewis,  in  introducing  his  Budget,  explained 
that  he  proposed  to  meet  the  deficiency  by  raising  sixteen 
millions  on  loan  at  three  per  cent.,  of  which  the  whole  had 
been  taken  at  par  by  the  Messrs.  Eothschild  and  the  Bank 
of  England, — five  millions  by  means  of  an  additional  twopence 
in  the  pound  on  the  Income  Tax, — and  three  millions  by 
Exchequer  Bills.  Some  of  the  details  of  his  plan  provoked 
discussion,  but  the  resolutions  for  giving  it  effect  were  carried 
on  the  23rd  without  difficulty.  The  nation  was  thoroughly 
in  earnest,  and,  to  achieve  the  objects  of  the  war,  it  was 
prepared  to  find  the  necessary  sinews  without  a  murmur. 
By  this  time  it  was  generally  understood  that  the  nego- 


1855  CONFERENCES  AT   VIENNA.  261 

tiations  at  Vienna  had  proved  abortive,  and  that  the  prospects 
of  peace  were,  in  fact,  more  remote  than  ever.  The 
Russian  Government  having  on  the  21st  of  April  definitely 
rejected  the  proposals  for  neutralising  the  Black  Sea,  or  for 
limiting  their  own  naval  force  there,  the  Plenipotentiaries 
of  England  and  France  declared  their  powers  exhausted,  and 
announced  their  intention  to  return  home.  Lord  John 
Russell  left  Vienna  on  the  23rd  of  April,  and  was  imme 
diately  followed  by  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys.  Austria,  anxious 
to  escape  if  possible  from  taking  an  active  part  in  the  war, 
which  she  now  anticipated  she  would  be  called  upon  by  the 
Western  Powers  to  do  under  the  Treaty  concluded  with  them 
on  the  2nd  of  December,  1854,  devised  a  fresh  series  of  terms 
for  the  consideration  of  Russia,  to  which  reference  has  already 
been  made  in  the  preceding  chapter.  These  terms  in  effect 
implied  a  surrender  of  all  for  which  we  had  been  contending, 
as  they  would  have  restored  to  Russia  the  predominance  in 
the  Black  Sea,  which  we  had  again  and  again  declared  to  be 
a  standing  menace  to  Turkey,  and  through  her  to  the  peace 
of  Europe.  The  salient  features  of  this  new  proposition,  so 
far  as  they  could  be  gathered  by  the  Government  from  the 
information  by  telegraph  which  first  reached  them,  were, 
that  the  Allies  might  each  have  two  frigates  in  the  Black 
Sea  ;  that,  if  the  Russians  increased  their  fleet  there  beyond 
its  present  number,  the  Allies  might  each  maintain  there  one- 
half  the  number  of  the  Russian  ships  of  war ;  that  Russia 
should  be  asked  by  Austria  not  to  increase  her  naval  forces 
in  the  Black  Sea  beyond  the  number  actually  there  in  1853, 
and,  whether  she  accepted  this  -engagement  or  not,  that 
Austria  would  sign  a  treaty  making  any  increase  beyond  that 
number  a  casus  belli. 

These  terms  were  at  once  seen  by  our  own  Government, 
and  also  by  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  to  be  wholly  unsatis 
factory.  They  therefore  learned  with  some  dismay  that  they 


262  AUSTRIAN  PEACE  PROPOSALS  1855 

had  met  with  the  personal  approval  of  both  the  French  and 
English  Plenipotentiaries.  In  his  despatches  Lord  John 
Russell  had  indicated  his  own  concurrence,  and  the  Emperor 
informed  our  Ambassador,  that  they  were  pressed  upon  his 
approval  by  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  with  extreme  urgency. 
In  replying  to  a  letter  from  Lord  Clarendon  informing  Her 
Majesty  of  these  facts,  the  Queen  wrote : — 

'Buckingham  Palace,  25th  April,  1855. 

'The  Queen  has  received  Lord  Clarendon's  letter  with 
extreme  concern.  How  Lord  John  Eussell  and  M.  Drouyn 
can  recommend  such  proposals  to  our  acceptance  is  beyond 
her  comprehension.  The  Prince  has  summed  up  the  present 
position  of  the  question  in  a  few  sentences,  which  the  Queen 
encloses,  and  which  she  thinks  might  be  communicated  to 
the  Cabinet  and  perhaps  the  Emperor.' 

The  Prince's  Memorandum  was  as  follows  : — 

'Buckingham  Palace,  25th  April,  1855. 

'  The  point  in  the  negotiations  at  which  we  have  arrived, 
and  upon  which  we  have  split,  is  the  Third  point  of  the 
conditions  proposed  by  Austria  and  the  belligerents,  and 
accepted  by  Eussia.  Its  formula  is,  "  de  mettre  fin  a  la 
preponderance  de  la  Russie  dans  la  Mer  Noire" 

6  This  presupposes  that  there  existed  a  "  preponderance  " 
before  the  war  which  broke  out  in  1854. 

'To  limit  the  Russian  naval  power  to  that  existing  in 
1853  would  therefore  be  simply  u  de  perpetuer  et  legaliser 
la  preponderance  de  la  Russie  dans  la  Mer  Noire"  a 
proposal  which  can  neither  be  made  nor  accepted  as  a 
development  of  the  Third  Point. 

'The  proposal  of  Austria  to  engage  to  make  war  when 
the  Russian  armaments  should  appear  to  have  become 
excessive  is  of  no  kind  of  value  to  the  belligerents,  who  do, 


1 85 5  AT  CONFERENCE  REJECTED.  263 

not  wish  to  establish  a  case  for  which  to  make  war  hereafter •, 
but  to  obtain  a  security  upon  which  they  can  conclude  peace 


In  the  views  thus  expressed,  Lord  Palmerston  mentioned 
in  writing  next  day  to  the  Queen,  the  Cabinet  concurred, 
holding  that  the  Austrian  proposal  '  could  not  be  more 
accurately  described  than  in  the  concise  terms '  of  the 
Prince's  Memorandum,  '  namely,  that,  instead  of  making  to 
cease  the  preponderance  of  Russia  in  the  Black  Sea,  it  would 
perpetuate  and  legalise  that  preponderance,  and  that,  instead 
of  establishing  a  secure  and  permanent  peace,  it  would  only 
establish  a  prospective  case  for  war.'  The  bait,  which  had 
apparently  captivated  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys,  of  securing  the 
co-operation  of  Austria,  if  Russia  were  to  increase  the  numbers 
of  her  present  Black  Sea  fleet,  was  regarded  by  the  Cabinet 
as  purely  illusory.  Would  Austria,  who  shrank  from  conflict 
with  Russia  now,  when  the  Russian  army  was  crippled  by 
heavy  losses,  was  widely  scattered,  and  its  efficiency  strained 
to  the  utmost,  and  when  England  and  France  were  in  the 
field  against  the  Czar,  be  more  ready  or  more  likely  to  move 
against  Russia  hereafter,  when  she  had  recruited  and  con 
centrated  her  strength,  and  when  the  Allied  forces  were  back 
in  their  home  stations,  and  reduced  to  the  level  of  peace 
establishments?  'What  reason,  moreover,  is  there,'  Lord 
Palmerston  added,  ( for  supposing  that  Austria,  who  has 
recently  declared  that,  though  prepared  for  war,  she  will  not 
make  war  for  ten  sail  of  the  line  more  or  less  in  the  Russian 
Black  Sea  fleet,  will  some  few  years  hence,  when  unprepared 
for  war,  draw  the  sword  on  account  of  the  addition  of  one 
ship  of  war  to  that  fleet?  Such  proposals  are  really  a 
mockery.'  And,  indeed,  they  savoured  more  of  the  astute 
ness  of  Russian  diplomacy  than  of  the  friendly  suggestions  of 
a  nominal  ally. 


«z1>4  POSITION  OF  LORD  JOHN  RUSSELL.  1855 

The  more  they  were  examined  the  more  distasteful  did 
they  appear,  and.  they  were  not  made  more  palatable  by  the 
personal  arguments  either  of  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  or  of  Lord 
John  Russell  on  their  return  to  their  posts.  After  some 
slight  hesitation,  due  to  imperfect  information  as  to  the  real 
scope  of  the  proposal,  the  Emperor  ended  with  being  entirely 
at  one  with  the  English  Cabinet,  and  on  the  5th  of  May  his 
final  decision  not  to  entertain  it  was  communicated  by  Count 
Walewski  to  Lord  Clarendon.  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  was  too 
far  committed  to  remain  in  office  after  this  decision  ;  and  the 
next  day  Lord  Clarendon  was  informed  that  Count  Walewski 
was  appointed  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs,  and  was  to  be 
succeeded  as  Ambassador  in  London  by  M.  Persigny.  As  Lord 
John  Russell  had  taken  the  same  view  at  Vienna  as  M. 
Drouyn  de  Lhuys,  his  first  conclusion  was  that  that  states 
man's  resignation  involved  his  own. 

There  seems  little  room  for  doubt  that  it  would  have  been 
better  had  he  acted  upon  his  first  impression.  The  fact  of 
the  identity  of  their  opinions  was  sure,  sooner  or  later,  to 
become  known,  and  it  was  neither  for  the  advantage  of  the 
Grovernment,  nor  of  his  own  reputation,  that  he  should 
retain  a  prominent  place  in  their  councils,  when  he  had 
urged  terms  of  peace  upon  their  acceptance,  which  they,  on 
the  other  hand,  were  agreed  in  thinking  would  be  ignominious 
to  England,  and  a  triumph  to  Russia  before  all  Europe.  His 
resignation,  with  the  explanations  which  it  must  have  entailed, 
would  no  doubt  have  been  embarrassing  to  the  Ministry.  But 
better  this,  than  that  the  facts  should  have  been  dragged  to 
light  by  their  adversaries,  as  they  subsequently  were,  with 
all  the  damaging  commentaries  to  which  the  disclosure 
exposed  both  the  Government  and  its  Plenipotentiary. 

That  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  should  have  fallen  so  readily 
into  the  Austrian  proposals  was  not  surprising.  His  master, 
indeed,  was  sincere  in  allying  himself  with  Great  Britain  for 


i855  M.   DROUYN  DE  LHUYS.  265 

the  purposes  which  both  countries  professed,  and  of  which 
M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  had  himself  been  the  eloquent  exponent. 
But  our  Government  had  for  some  time  divined,  from  much 
that  came  within  their  observation,  that  the  French  Minister 
had  no  cordial  love  for  the  English  alliance  ;  and  would, 
indeed,  have  been  better  pleased  to  cement  an  alliance  with 
Prussia,  Austria,  and  Grermany,  which  should  keep  England 
under  control,  than  to  see  a  permanent  friendship  established 
between  this  country  and  France.  To  break  up  the  Con 
tinental  alliance,  was  from  his  point  of  view  of  vital  moment, 
and  to  detach  Austria  from  Eussia  a  step  of  the  first  impor 
tance.  This,  with  the  defeats  which  Eussia  had  already 
sustained,  would  have  satisfied  the  grudge  M.  Drouyn  de 
Lhuys  owed  that  country  for  the  advantages  she  had  gained 
in  the  question  of  the  '  Holy  places,'  and  for  the  refusal  of 
the  Czar  to  acknowledge  the  French  Emperor  as  his  brother, 
while  it  would  have  met  his  ideas  of  the  extent  of  the  French 
interest  in  the  European  question.  If  England  suffered  by 
having  to  conclude  an  unsatisfactory  peace,  so  much  the 
better  in  the  view  of  one  who  thought  her  already  too  strong. 
But  better  still  would  have  been  the  dissolution  of  the 
Continental  league,  which  had  for  so  long  a  series  of  years 
held  France  in  check.  If,  therefore,  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys 
believed  that  Austria  was  prepared  to  take  the  field  against 
Eussia,  if  her  new  proposals  for  peace  were  rejected,  his  assent 
to  them  is  intelligible.  It  does  not,  however,  appear  that  a 
pledge  to  this  effect  was  ever  formally  given.  More  probably 
Austria  knew,  that  Eussia  would  have  accepted  the  conditions 
suggested,^ and  in  his  eagerness  to  push  his  own  favourite 
policy  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  allowed  himself  to  entertain 
proposals,  by  which,  in  truth,  it  would  not  substantially  have 
been  advanced.  For,  if  Eussia  had  accepted  Austria's  terms, 
as  she  might  well  have  done,  that  country  would  have  been 
drawn  more  closely  into  alliance  with  her,  at  least  for  the 


266  PRINCE'S  DEFENCE   OF  REJECTION  1855 

time.    Prussia,  through  her  Sovereign,  was  already  in  Eussia's 
hands. 

It  would  seem  that  the  policy  of  the  English  refusal  to 
entertain  the  Austrian  project  was  questioned  even  by 
friendly  critics  abroad.  To  remove  misapprehensions  in  a 
quarter  where  he  was  anxious  that  none  should  exist,  the 
Prince  went  fully  into  the  subject  in  a  letter  (18th  May)  to 
the  Prince  of  Prussia  (the  present  Emperor  of  Grermany),  in 
which  he  dealt  fully  with  the  suggestion,  which  had  been 
thrown  out,  that  Eussia  might  be  held  in  check  by  the 
presence  in  the  Black  Sea  of  English  and  French  naval 
forces  sufficient  to  create  an  effectual  counterpoise  to  the 
Eussian  fleet.  From  this  letter  we  extract  the  more  important 
passages  : — 

4  The  creation  of  war  harbours  and  establishments  in  tLt 
Black  Sea,  is  not  such  a  simple  and  practicable  task  as  it 
may  look.  Except  Sebastopol,  there  is  no  natural  harbour 
in  all  the  Black  Sea.  They  must  therefore  be  constructed 
artificially,  and  this  alone  is  an  undertaking  which  cannot  be 
carried  out  under  from  twenty  to  thirty  years.  Cherbourg 
was  begun  under  Louis  XIV.,  and  is  not  complete  to  this 
hour,  despite  the  most  strenuous  and  unintermitted  efforts 
of  the  different  French  Governments.  Plymouth  was  begun 
in  1805  and  only  finished  in  1842.  I  speak  here  only  of 
the  harbour,  not  of  the  dockyards,  which  are  still  in  hand. 
Since  1845  we  have  been  at  work  at  Dover,  Holyhead,  and 
Portland,  without  much  progress  visible.  If  this  be  so  in 
the  centre  of  civilisation,  and  with  all  our  national  resources  at 
hand,  how  should  we  stand  in  dealing  with  similar  works 
in  Asia  Minor  ?  After  the  harbours  are  built,  great  dock 
yards  would  be  essential ;  Eussia  has  for  fifty  years  been 
hard  at  work  preparing  hers  in  Sebastopol  (this,  too,  within 
her  own  territory)  ;  then  the  whole  would  have  to  be  pro- 


1 85 5  OF  AUSTRIAN  PEACE  PROPOSALS.  267 

tected  by  extensive  sea  and  land  fortifications ;  and  these 
again  would  create  the  necessity  for  a  garrison  of  from  five 
to  ten  thousand  men,  and  when  all  is  done,  we  should  only 
have  built  a  mousetrap  for  ourselves,  for  without  the  pos 
session  of  the  Dardanelles  we  might  at  any  moment  be  cut 
off  from  everything  we  had  constructed,  and  starved  out. 
In  the  same  way  it  would  puzzle  us  to  hold  Malta  without 
Gibraltar,  island  though  it  be. 

'  Well,  you  say,  whoever  wants  to  be  secure  must  not  shrink 
from  making  sacrifices.  Most  just;  but  we  have  made  the 
sacrifices  of  the  war — sacrifices  which  for  us  alone  already 
amount  to  forty-seven  millions  sterling — sacrifices  which, 
very  naturally,  Austria,  Prussia,  and  Grermany,  have  shrunk 
from  making.  The  nation  has  willingly  made  these  tem 
porary  sacrifices,  but  it  has  not  paid  that  price  in  order  to 
purchase  permanent  sacrifices.  It  expects,  and  justly,  a 
peace  in  return,  which  will  lay  the  foundations  of  lasting 
security  and  concord,  not  an  armed  truce,  the  maintenance 
of  which  is  based  upon  the  constant  presence  of  all  the 
antagonistic  elements  of  strife. 

'The  reduction  of  the  Kussian  fleet  in  the  Black  Sea, 
which  is  indicated  as  the  sacrifice  on  the  other  side,  is  no 
sacrifice  at  all,  but  an  actual  boon  to  the  Russian  State.  But 
to  a  limitation  of  this  kind  we  are  told  Russian  honour 
can  never  assent !  I  should  accept  the  argument  as  un 
answerable  if  it  were  the  Baltic  fleet  whose  limitation  was 
demanded,  or  a  fleet  organised  for  the  protection  of  the 
Russian  coasts  and  of  Russian  commerce  :  but  the  fleet  here 
is  one  whose  very  existence  can  be  regarded  only  as  a  means 
of  aggression  against  the  Porte  :  a  fleet  which  has  no  enemy 
to  repel  from  its  commerce  or  its  coasts ;  which  cannot 
venture  on  the  high  seas,  but  is  built  solely  for  a  land-locked 
sea  ;  whose  existence  therefore  is  in  no  sense  necessary  for 
the  welfare  of  Russia,  although  it  menaces  the  destruction  of 


268  LETTER   TO  KING  LEOPOLD.  1855 

the  Porte.  The  only  argument  which  Prince  Gortschakoff 
could  adduce  for  its  being  necessary  was,  that  it  was  required 
to  protect  Constantinople  against  the  ambitious  designs  of  the 
Western  Powers. 

'  Further,  it  is  said  that  the  demand  for  a  limitation  of 
the  fleet  is  unjust,  because  Sebastopol  has  not  yet  been  taken. 
To  this  I  need  only  reply  by  recalling  attention  to  the  fact 
that  what  Russia  formerly  said  was  :  Now  we  can  enter  upon 
negotiations  for  peace,  for  the  Allies  have  their  victories  of 
Alma  and  Inkermann,  we  our  brilliant  defence  of  Sebastopol ; 
if  the  city  falls,  our  honour  forbids  us  to  think  of  peace ! 

'  Let  me  put  aside  all  diplomatic  considerations,  and  deal 
with  the  question  of  peace  upon  the  basis  of  the  actual 
status  quo,  as  mere  soldiers  would  be  justified  in  doing. 
We  are  now  in  possession  of  Eupatoria  and  Balaclava,  the 
Black  Sea  and  the  Baltic.  If  we  evacuate  all  these  positions, 
what  is  to  be  our  consideration  for  doing  so  ?  Permission  to 
have  a  small  number  of  ships  in  the  Black  Sea,  which  are  to 
observe  how  Russia  goes  on  restoring  her  naval  power  there, 
of  which  we  have  for  the  moment  made  an  end.  Is  that  an 
equitable  proposal  ?  The  following  illustration  would  fairly 
represent  what  is  proposed.  Two  people  spring  upon  a 
third  and  take  from  him  a  pistol,  with  which  he  threatens  to 
assassinate  their  friend  :  after  a  long  struggle  the  third  man 
says  :  "  Let  me  go  !  "— "  On  what  condition  ?  "— «  That  I 
get  back  my  pistol,  and  that  you  also  have  pistols  with  which 
you  may  stand  sentry  over  your  friend." 

'What  fate  this  summer  may  bring  us,  the  gods  only 
know  !  We  are  in  good  heart,  trusting  in  the  goodness  of 
our  cause  ;  but  I  still  remain  of  opinion  that  so  long  as 
Austria  and  Prussia  take  no  active  part  in  the  war,  we  shall 
not  make  any  speedy  peace ;  with  their  participation  it 
would  be  made  speedily,  and  on  terms  not  too  unfavourable 
to  Russia,  for  then,  instead  of  the  preliminary  condition, 


1855  THE   EASTERN   QUESTION.  269 

that  Kussia  must  be  thoroughly  beaten  before  she  can  give 
in,  would  have  interposed  the  fact  of  the  mere  demonstration 
of  the  whole  European  contending  Powers,  to  cope  with 
which  Kussia  cannot  feel  herself  able,  a  fact  which  she  may 
admit  without  dishonour.' 

The  Eastern  Question  being,  as  it  was,  one  which  con 
cerned  Europe  generally,  it  was  indeed  not  likely  to  be  settled 
permanently  except  with  the  active  concurrence  of  all 
the  European  Powers.  Even  if  Russia  were  beaten  to  her 
knees,  and  driven  to  accept  terms  which  she  regarded  as 
humiliating,  what  prospect  was  there  that  she  would  hold 
herself  bound  by  these  terms  one  hour  after  she  thought  she 
had  recovered  strength  to  reassert  her  claim  to  dominate 
Turkey,  and  again  to  dispute  the  right  of  Europe  to  interfere, 
diplomatically  or  otherwise,  in  whatever  differences  might 
arise  between  her  neighbour  and  herself?  All  material 
guarantees  against  such  a  contingency  were  manifestly 
inadequate  and  could  at  best  be  only  temporary.  A  general 
European  concert  could  alone  effect  a  permanent  settlement. 
Neither  Austria  nor  Prussia,  it  was  obvious,  would  throw 
themselves  into  the  present  straggle.  But  might  it  not  be 
possible  to  induce  them  to  enter  into  an  alliance,  by  which 
they  should  bind  themselves  to  make  the  war  of  Russia  on 
Turkey  a  general  international  object,  and  a  casus  belli 
for  the  alliance  ?  Why  should  they  not  combine  with  the 
Western  Powers  in  demanding  from  Russia  that  any  existing 
or  future  questions  between  her  and  Turkey,  or  between 
Turkey  and  any  of  themselves,  should  not  be  decided  by 
arms,  but  be  dealt  with  diplomatically  in  concert  with  the 
other  European  Powers,  and  that  Russia,  in  the  deliberations 
on  all  such  questions,  should  not  pretend  to  more  than  one 
voice  ?  Any  action  to  the  contrary  should  be  considered  as 
war  to  the  alliance,  and  be  dealt  with  as  such.  All  previous 


270  NECESSITY  OF  EUROPEAN  CONCERT         1855 

treaties  between  Kussia  and  the  Porte  having  been  annulled 
by  the  war,  the  pretensions  of  Russia  to  special  rights  in 
Turkey  were  at  an  end.  The  other  States  of  Europe  were 
not  less  solicitous  than  Russia  for  the  establishment  of  good 
government  and  religious  toleration  in  European  Turkey. 
United,  they  could  put  irresistible  pressure  upon  the  Porte 
to  compel  the  necessary  reforms,  or,  if  the  Ottoman  rule 
continued,  after  fair  trial,  to  prove  intolerable  to  the  well- 
being  and  perilous  to  the  tranquillity  of  Europe,  such 
changes  might  be  devised  in  the  common  interest,  as  would 
ensure  the  welfare  of  the  conflicting  races  within  the  country, 
without  the  anarchy  and  widespread  misery,  which  must 
ensue  from  any  forcible  and  one-sided  attempt  to  alter  their 
relations  to  each  other.  Any  other  settlement,  which  left 
Turkey  free  to  play  the  rival  ambitions  of  one  State  against 
another,  and  at  the  same  time  left  these  States  free  to  seek 
the  aggrandisement  of  their  own  interests  in  the  weakness 
and  wickedness  of  Ottoman  rule,  could  only  be  patchwork, 
and  be  followed  by  sanguinary  and  wasting  struggles  at  some 
future  day. 

Such,  we  may  fairly  conclude,  to  have  been  some  of  the 
considerations  which  were  canvassed  between  the  Prince  and 
Baron  Stockmar,  who  had  passed  the  winter  in  England,  and 
was  still  there,  in  the  f  high  debates  '  which  they  held  upon 
the  great  question  of  the  hour.  In  a  Memorandum  sub 
mitted  to  the  Cabinet,  and  which  was  before  them  in  de 
liberating  finally  on  the  Austrian  proposal,  some  of  the 
Prince's  views  in  this  direction  are  developed  in  the  following 
terms  : — 

'  A  difficulty  existing  in  enforcing  material  guarantees,  let 
us  consider  the  value  of  diplomatic  guarantees. 

'  There  is  only  one  kind  of  diplomatic  guarantee  that 
appears  to  me  to  be  an  equivalent  for  the  material  one  given 


(i855    FOR  SETTLEMENT  OF  EASTERN  QUESTION.    271 

up  with  the  principle  of  limitation,  viz.,  that  of  a  general 
European  defensive  league  for  Turkey  as  against  Russia. 

'  Carrying  this  out,  it  should  be  agreed  upon  by  Europe, 
in  addition  to  a  general  guarantee  of  the  independence  and 
integrity  of  the  Turkish  Empire,  and  to  stipulations  as  to  the 
steps  to  be  taken  in  the  event  of  threatening  armaments  on 
the  part  of  Kussia,  that  on  no  account  are  to  be  renewed  any 
of  the  old  treaties  between  Russia  and  Turkey,  by  her  inter 
pretation  of  which  Russia  has  at  all  times  been  able  to 
interfere  in  the  internal  affairs  of  Turkey  and  to  obtain 
a  plausible  cause  of  quarrel ;  that  every  question  between 
Turkey  and  another  Power  is  to  be  brought  for  settlement 
before  the  European  tribunal,  and  any  attempt  to  enforce 
demands  upon  Turkey  single-handed  is  to  constitute  a  casus 
belli  for  the  contracting  parties. 

4  This  agreement  should  not  be  entered  into  with  Austria 
alone,  who  has  proved  to  us  that,  the  case  arising,  she  would 
always  hesitate  to  go  to  war  with  Russia  as  long  as  the 
position  of  Prussia  and  Germany  remained  undefined,  but 
should  include  both  these  Powers,  as  well  as,  if  possible, 
Sardinia  and  Sweden.  This  would  place  Europe  permanently 
in  a  compact  attitude  for  defence,  and  render  it  entirely 
impossible  for  Russia  to  make  any  threatening  movement 
towards  Turkey,  had  she  even  ever  so  many  ships  in  the 
Black  Sea.  It  would,  moreover,  place  Russia,  with  regard 
to  her  influence  over  the  different  States  of  Europe,  in  the 
disadvantageous  position,  that  each  of  them  would  feel 
conscious,  that  on  a  given  emergency  it  was  in  duty  bound  to 
oppose  her  by  force  of  arms — a  consciousness  which  would 
place  a  moral  bar  to  the  kind  of  protectorate  which  Russia 
has  hitherto  exercised  over  the  whole  centre  of  Europe,  and 
particularly  over  Germany. 

'  Can  such  a  defensive  coalition  be  obtained  ?  /  think  it 
may. 


272  MEMORANDUM  BY  PRINCE  1855 

'Austria,  I  am  sure,  can  wish  for  nothing  better;  insur 
ing  her,  as  it  would,  against  future  Turkish  complications, 
and  guaranteeing  to  her,  if  they  should  arise,  the  precon 
certed  support  of  the  whole  of  Germany  and  of  the  Western 
Powers. 

'  Prussia  has  already  several  times  shown  her  willingness 
to  buy  off  the  necessity  of  a  present  decision  by  prospective 
promises.  It  ought  clearly  to  be  worth  her  while  to  join  in 
making  such  a  proposal,  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining  an 
immediate  peace  and  security  from  impending  complications 
without  incurring  any  sacrifice  or  running  any  present 
danger. 

'It  may  be  objected  that  peace  upon  such  terms  would  not 
satisfy  the  honour  of  our  arms. 

'  If  it  does  not,  the  cause  must  not  be  looked  for  in  the 
nature  of  the  peace  itself,  but  in  the  fact  that  we  have  not 
taken  Sebastopol.  With  respect  to  this  it  must,  however, 
be  said,  that  the  expedition  to  the  Crimea  was  undertaken, 
not  for  its  conquest,  but  in  order  to  bring  Russia  to  terms  of 
peace  which  would  give  security  to  Turkey ;  and  that  the 
Crimea  was  chosen  by  France  and  England,  forsaken  by 
the  rest  of  Europe,  as  the  only  vulnerable  point  of  attack. 

'  In  making  such  a  peace  we  should  have  succeeded  in  our 
object  for  ike,  present ,  and  imposed  upon  the  whole  of 
Europe  united  the  task  to  defend  for  the  future  what,  from 
an  unfortunate  complication  of  circumstances,  has  been  left 
in  this  instance  to  the  single  exertions  of  the  Western  Powers. 
'  It  may  be  doubted,  at  the  same  time,  whether  any 
success  which  the  Allies  might  obtain  in  the  Crimea  or  the 
Black  Sea  generally  will  inflict  such  losses  on  Russia  as 
would  make  her  willing  to  submit  to  conditions  which  she 
might  consider  humiliating  ;  and  other  more  important  suc 
cesses  cannot  reasonably  be  expected  without  a  participation 
in  the  war  of  any  of  the  Powers  bordering  upon  Russia. 


1855  ON  EASTERN  QUESTION.  273 

4  To  sum  up,  I  think  we  ought  to  say :  If  Austria, 
Prussia,  and  Germany  will  give  the  diplomatic  guarantee  for 
the  future  which  I  have  above  detailed,  we  shall  consider 
this  an  equivalent  for  the  material  guarantee  sought  for  in 
the  limitation  of  the  Eussian  fleet,  and  pass  on  to  the  fourth 
point  of  the  bases  of  negotiations  for  peace. 

'  ALBERT. 

'  Buckingham  Palace,  3rd  May.' 

In  the  views  thus  expressed  the  Cabinet  concurred,  and  a 
copy  of  the  Memorandum  was  sent,  with  their  approval,  to 
the  Emperor  of  the  French.  He  thereupon  decided  to  join 
with  us  in  rejecting  the  Austrian  proposals,  a  step  imme 
diately  followed  by  the  resignation  of  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys. 

On  the  5th  of  May  Stockmar  left  England.  He  was  very 
much  out  of  health,  and  depressed  by  the  effects  of  a  painful 
affection  of  the  liver,  from  which  he  suffered  through  life. 
All  partings  were  especially  distasteful  to  him,  and  on  the 
present  occasion  he  gave  no  notice  of  his  intention.  His 
vacant  rooms  were  the  first  intimation  to  his  hosts  that  their 
valued  guest  was  gone.  Next  day  the  Prince  wrote  to  him 
as  follows : — 

'  I  will  send  after  you  only  one  word,  of  the  dismay  occa 
sioned  by  your  sudden  disappearance.  There  was  an  outcry 
through  all  the  house  from  great  and  small,  young  and  old  ! 
"The  Baron  is  gone  !  "  Then,  however,  came  variations  upon 
it.  "  I  wanted  to  say  this  and  this  to  him."  "  He  promised 
he  would  stay  longer."  "  I  went  to  his  room,  and  found 
it  empty."  "  I  would  have  travelled  with  him."  "  He 
promised  to  carry  a  letter  to  my  father."  "  J'ai  encore  com 
mence  un  travail  qu'il  me  demandait." 

6  You  can  divine  who  the  persons  were  by  what  they 
exclaimed,  without  my  naming  them  ;  but  not  the  feelings  of 

VOL.  III.  T 


274  LETTER   TO  BARON  STOCKMAR.  1855 

regret  which  overwhelmed  all  at  having  lost  you  from  among 
us! 

'I  hope  you  have  not  suffered  on  your  journey  from  the 
abominable  weather.  I  have  been  seized  with  fresh  cold  in 
the  head,  and  am  overwhelmed  with  business — yourself, 
Briegleb,  Becker,  and  Grey,  having  all  deserted  me  within 
two  days,  and  left  me  here  alone  with  Phipps,  to  wrestle  with 
the  deluge  as  best  I  may. 

'  I  have  completed  my  Memorandum  upon  the  Peace 
question,  and  sent  one  copy  to  the  Cabinet,  and  another  (with 
the  consent  of  the  Cabinet)  to  the  Emperor.  Your  ideas 
have  been  developed  in  it.  I  would  I  could  have  submitted 
it  to  yourself  first !  As  a  courier  is  going  to  Brussels,  I  must 
send  you  a  line  by  him. 

'  Drouyn's  resignation  supposes  a  return  to  the  policy 
from  which  he  and  Lord  John  departed.  I  fear  it  will 
involve  the  resignation  of  the  latter,  which  will  have  the  effect 
of  involving  us  in  fresh  Ministerial  difficulties.  Walewski 
stepped  into  Drouyn's  place,  and  to  the  inquiry  whether 
Persigny  would  be  acceptable  to  the  Queen  here,  the  answer 
has  been  given  in  the  affirmative. 

'  The  attacks  upon  the  Army  and  the  Administration  here 
continue,  The  Times  a  la  tete  du  mouvement. 

'  Sir  Robert  Inglis  died  two  days  ago.  I  lose  in  him  a 
colleague  in  the  Fine  Arts  Commission,  and  a  steadfast  friend, 
despite  his  extreme  "  sanctity." 

'  The  Duke  [of  Coburg]  arrives  this  evening,  but  will  only 
remain  a  few  days,  because  the  King  of  Saxony  has  intimated 
his  intention  to  visit  him  at  Gotha.  He  will  give  us  the  latest 
news  from  Paris. 

'  The  news  from  the  Crimea  are  all  favourable. 
'Buckingham  Palace,  8th  May,  1855.' 

A  few  days  after  this  letter  was  written  a  violent  attack 
upon  the  Army  and  the  Administration  was  made  in  the 


1855  RUSSIAN  LOSSES  IN  CRIMEA.  275 

House  of  Lords  by  Lord  Ellenborough,  in  moving  an  Address 
to  the  Queen  expressive  of  absolute  distrust  in  those  to  whom 
the  conduct  of  the  war  was  entrusted.  A  majority  of  110 
in  favour  of  the  Ministers  in  a  House  of  250  disposed  conclu 
sively  of  the  motion.  Lords  Hardwicke  and  Derby,  on  the 
one  side,  and  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  Lords  Granville  and 
Lansdowne,  on  the  other,  took  part  in  the  debate,  which  was 
chiefly  memorable  as  eliciting  from  Lord  Lansdowne  the 
first  authentic  statement  which  had  up  to  this  time  been 
published  in  England,  of  the  frightful  expenditure  of  human 
life  which  the  war  had  already  caused  to  Russia.  He  said  : 

'  The  loss  and  destruction  and  misery  inflicted  on  the  Russians 
have  been  threefold  that  inflicted  on  the  whole  armies  of  the 
Allies.  The  noble  earl  has  some  idea,  perhaps,  of  the  extent  to 
which  that  loss  has  gone  ;  — that,  if  our  troops  have  suffered  from 
want  of  clothing,  of  habitations,  of  the  means  of  transport,  the 
Russians  have  suffered  ten  times  more ;  but  I  should  astonish 
your  lordships  by  stating  what  the  amount  of  that  loss  to  the 
enemy  has  been.  I  have  here  a  statement,  made  on  the  very 
highest  authority,  and  from  this  it  appears  that  a  few  days  before 
the  death  of  the  Emperor  Nicholas  a  return  was  made  up,  stating 
that  170,000  Russians  had  died,  and  according  to  a  supplementary 
return,  made  up  a  few  days  later,  70,000  were  added  to  the  list, 
making  a  total  loss  of  240,000  men.' 

'  The  loss  of  a  single  life  in  a  popular  tumult  excites 
individual  tenderness  and  pity.  No  t^ars  are  shed  for 
nations.'  So  wrote  Sir  Philip  Francis  in  a  letter  to  Burke. 
It  is  a  pitiful  truth.  And  yet  a  thrill  of  horror  went  through 
the  House  at  this  startling  announcement,  and  it  awoke  the 
profoundest  feeling  of  sympathy  throughout  the  kingdom 
for  the  brave  men  so  ruthlessly  sacrificed  to  one  man's 
ambition.  '  Heu.  cadit  in  quemquam  tantum  scelus?-"* 
was  the  thought  which  ro>e  in  many  a  mind. 

A  fellow  feeling  had  quickened  men's  sensibilities  at  home 
to  the  terrible  sacrifices  of  war,  and  the  moral  responsibilities 

T  2 


276  QUEEN  DISTRIBUTES  MEDALS  1855 

of  those  who  provoke  it.  The  maimed  and  wasted  frames  of 
such  of  our  picked  troops  as  had  been  sent  home  invalided, 
told  of  these  in  a  language  more  eloquent  than  words.  From 
week  to  week  men  read  of  fresh  detachments  of  invalids 
returning  and  being  visited  by  the  Queen  and  Prince.  But 
more  impressive  than  all  was  the  scene  when,  on  the  18th 
of  May,  the  Queen  presented  the  Crimean  medals  to  the 
officers  and  soldiers  who  had  been  engaged  in  the  battles  of 
the  Alma,  Balaclava,  and  Inkermann.  Long  before  the  hour 
appointed  for  the  ceremony,  which  took  place  on  the  Parade 
between  the  Horse  Gruards  and  St.  James's  Park,  every  spot 
was  occupied  from  which  it  could  be  seen.  Soon  after  ten 
o'clock  the  Queen  and  Prince  arrived  upon  the  ground,  and 
took  up  their  places  upon  a  raised  dais. . 

'  After  the  customary  ceremony  of  marching  past,  the  line 
formed  three  sides  of  a  square,  facing  the  dais.  The  names  of 
the  officers,  &c.  entitled  to  the  decoration  were  called  over  by 
the  Deputy  Adjutant- General,  and  each  person  passing  in  succes 
sion  was  presented  with  the  medal.  As  each  soldier  came  up, 
Lord  Panmure  handed  to  the  Queen  the  medal  to  which  he  was 
entitled,  and  the  soldier  having  saluted  Her  Majesty  passed  on 
to  the  rear,  where  they  might  be  seen  proudly  exhibiting  their 
medals  to  admiring  groups  both  of  friends  and  strangers  ' — 
(Morning  Chronicle,  May  19,  1855.) 

So  far  back  as  the  22nd  of  March,  the  Queen  had  herself 
suggested  to  Lord  Clarendon,  that  the  medals  should  be 
given  by  her  own  hands,  for  she  knew  well  how  this  would 
not  merely  enhance  the  value  of  the  gift,  but  go  to  the  very 
hearts  of  the  brave  men  who  were  at  this  moment  upholding 
their  country's  honour  before  a  gallant  and  powerful  foe.  It 
was  right  that  the  people,  in  the  person  of  their  Sovereign, 
should  thus  testify  their  appreciation  of  those  who  had 
fought  so  well  and  borne  so  much.  Let  the  following  letter 
from  Her  Majesty  to  the  King  of  the  Belgians  tell  how 
thoroughly  her  own  sympathies  were  moved,  along  with  those 


i855  TO  INVALIDS  FROM  CRIMEA.  277 

of  the  crowds,  who  watched  with  dimmed  eyes  and  beating 
hearts  the  spectacle,  of  which  she  was  the  central  figure  :— 

'Buckingham  Palace,  22nd  May,  1855. 

4 ...  Ernest  will  have  told  you  what  a  beautiful  and 
touching  sight  and  ceremony  (the  first  of  the  kind  ever  wit 
nessed  in  England)  the  distribution  of  the  medals  was. 
From  the  highest  prince  of  the  blood  to  the  lowest  private, 
all  received  the  same  distinction  for  the  bravest  conduct  in 
the  severest  actions,  and  the  rough  hand  of  the  brave  and 
honest  private  soldier  came  for  the  first  time  in  contact  with 
that  of  their  Sovereign  and  their  Queen.  Noble  fellows  !  I 
own  I  feel  as  if  they  were  my  own  children — my  heart  beats 
for  them  as  for  my  nearest  and  dearest !  They  were  so 
touched,  so  pleased, — many,  I  hear,  cried ;  and  they  won't 
hear  of  giving  up  their  medals  to  have  their  names  engraved 
upon  them,  for  fear  that  they  should  not  receive  the  identical 
one  put  into  their  hands  by  me !  Several  came  by  in  a 
sadly  mutilated  state.  None  created  more  interest  or  is 
more  gallant  than  young  Sir  Thomas  Troubridge,  who  had  at 
Inkermann  one  leg  and  the  foot  of  the  other  carried  away  by 
a  round  shot,  and  continued  commanding  his  battery  till  the 
battle  was  over,  refusing  to  be  carried  away,  only  desiring 
his  shattered  limbs  to  be  raised,  in  order  to  prevent  too 
great  a  hsemorrhage  ! 1  He  was  dragged  by  in  a  bath  chair, 
and  when  I  gave  him  his  medal,  I  told  him  I  should  make 
him  one  of  my  aides-de-camp  for  his  very  gallant  conduct ; 
to  which  he  replied,  "  I  am  amply  repaid  for  everything." 
One  must  revere  and  love  such  soldiers  as  those  ! ' 

1  When  his  request  had  been  complied  with,  he  continued  to  watch  with  the 
greatest  anxiety  the  progress  of  the  cannonade,  and,  each  time  the  guns  were 
loaded,  gave  the  word 'Fire!'  as  composedly  as  if  he  had  been  untouched. 
When  pressed  to  allow  himself  to  be  removed,  so  that  his  wounds  might  be 
attended  to,  he  answered,  '  No !  I  do  not  move  until  the  battle's  won.' — On  the 
19th  of  March  the  Prince  had  gone  to  see  Sir  Thomas  Troubridge  at  Ports 
mouth. 


278 


CHAPTEK   LXIV. 

COUNT  NESSELRODE  had  said  in  one  of  his  recent  despatches, 
speaking  of  the  Kussian  army,  '  Their  noble  devotion  has 
been,  of  all  the  appliances  of  negotiation,  the  most  conducive 
to  success.' 1  The  Allied  Governments,  on  their  part,  saw  no 
less  decisively,  that  it  was  only  through  their  armies  that 
negotiation  was  now  possible.  While  the  Conferences  were 
proceeding  at  Vienna,  the  Allied  forces  had  not  been  idle. 
They  had  failed  to  make  any  impression  by  their  fire  on  the 
defences  of  Sebastopol,  but  their  trenches  were  drawing 
closer  and  closer  to  the  city.  They  had  repelled  successfully 
more  than  one  desperate  sally.  With  the  finer  weather  their 
hardships  had  diminished;  sickness  was  abating;  the  men 
were  in  good  heart,  and  on  the  English  side,  at  least,  were 
growing  impatient  for  more  decided  action.  Their  eagerness 
was  held  in  check  by  the  irresolution  of  the  French  Com 
mander-in-chief,  General  Canrobert,  who,  with  all  his  fine 
qualities  as  a  soldier,  wanted  the  self-confidence  and  the 
wise  boldness  of  initiation  which  go  to  the  making  of  a 
general  of  the  highest  order.  He  felt  his  own  defects,  and 
asked  to  be  relieved  of  his  command.  His  request  was  com 
plied  with,  and  on  the  19th  of  May  Lord  Kaglan  telegraphed 
to  Lord  Pan  mure  that  his  coadjutor  had  been  authorised  by 
the  Emperor  to  place  his  command  in  the  hands  of  General 
Pelissier. 

1  '  Leur  noble  denouement  a  etc,  de  tons  les  nwyens  de  negotiation,  le  plus 


1855  CANROBERT  RESIGNS  COMMAND.  279 

The  change  was  welcomed  as  an  assurance  that  the  bolder 
counsels,  which  Lord  Kaglan  had  long  urged  in  vain,  would 
henceforth  prevail  in  the  French  camp.  Canrobert,  whose 
heart  and  soul  were  in  the  enterprise,  and  who  was  devoted 
to  his  English  comrades  2  in  it,  continued  to  give  his  valuable 
services  at  the  seat  of  war  as  a  General  of  Division.  But 
the  information  which  reached  our  Government  as  to  the 
respective  qualities  of  his  successor  and  himself  satisfied 
them  that  under  General  Pelissier  the  siege  was  more  likely 
to  advance,  than  if  the  control  of  the  French  forces  had  not 
passed  into  his  hands.  The  difference  between  the  two  men, 
according  to  Marshal  Vaillant,  was  this  :  '  Pelissier  will  lose 
14,000  men  for  a  great  result  at  once,  while  Canrobert  would 
lose  the  like  number  by  driblets,  without  obtaining  any 
advantage.'  Canrobert's  proceedings  before  Sebastopol  had 
confirmed  this  view.  He  had  hesitated  to  seize  and  to  fortify 
the  Mamelon  Hill,  while  it  was  still  free  to  him  to  do  so, — 
a  neglect  which  cost  numberless  lives,  and  delayed  for  months 
the  progress  of  the  siege.  He  left  himself  to  be  attacked, 
where  vigour  of  assault  would  have  secured  important  advan 
tages  with  smaller  loss  of  life,  and  from  mere  apprehension 
of  weakening  his  forces  suffered  them  to  be  wasted  away  in 
repelling  sallies,  which  a  bolder  policy  would  have  made 
impossible.  General  Pelissier  was  cast  in  a  different  mould. 
To  strike  boldly  and  thoroughly  was  his  way.  Speaking  of 
his  determination  General  Changarnier — himself  a  man  by 
no  means  wanting  in  the  quality — once  said :  '  If  there 
was  an  emeute,  I  should  not  hesitate  at  burning  a  quarter 
of  Paris.  Pelissier  would  not  flinch  from  burning  the 
whole.' 

The  time  had  come  for  the  Allies  to  strike  at  the  foe  else- 


2  '  Canrobert  is  a  worthy  fellow  as  can  be,  and  much  attached  to  the 
English.' — Private  Letter  from  General  Simpson  to  Lord  Panmure,  21st  July, 
1855. 


280  EXPEDITION  TO  KERTCH.  1855 

where  than  at  Sebastopol.  To  destroy  the  stores  from  which 
his  supplies  were  drawn,  was  the  most  effective  means  of 
weakening  the  resistance  there.  With  this  view  arrange 
ments  had  some  time  before  been  organised  for  an  expedition 
to  Kertch  and  the  Straits  of  Yenikale,  which  lead  into  the 
Sea  of  Azoff,  there  being  every  reason  to  believe  that  from 
this  part  of  the  Crimea  large  supplies  were  being  sent  by  a 
circuitous  route  to  Sebastopol.  A  former  expedition  with 
the  same  object  had  been  recalled,  just  after  it  started,  by 
a  telegram  from  the  Emperor  of  the  French  ;  but  on  the 
21st  of  May  it  sailed  again  with  a  large  body  of  troops, 
English,  French,  and  Turkish,  under  the  supervision  of  Sir 
George  Brown.  They  disembarked  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Kertch  without  resistance,  and  on  advancing  found  that 
the  Eussians  had  retreated,  having  first  blown  up  all  their 
works  along  the  coast,  spiked  all  their  guns,  and,  before 
evacuating  Kertch,  destroyed  immense  stores  of  provisions. 
Advancing  into  the  Sea  of  Azoff  with  his  squadron  of 
steamers  on  the  25th  of  May,  Captain  Lyons 3  found  that  four 
Russian  war- steamers,  which  had  escaped  from  Kertch,  had 
been  run  ashore  and  burnt  to  the  water's  edge  at  Berdiansk. 
Here  many  vessels  and  extensive  corn  stores  were  taken  and 
destroyed.  At  Genitchi  four  days  later  the  expedition  burnt 
many  corn  stores  and  vessels  laden  with  corn.  All  these 
objects  were  effected  without  loss  of  life  and  with  scarcely  a 
casualty. 

The  heaviness  of  the  blow  thus  inflicted  upon  the  Russians 
was  unquestionable,  for  the  stores  destroyed  at  Kertch  and 
in  the  Sea  of  Azoff  were  alone  computed  to  be  equal  to  the 
rations  of  100,000  men  for  four  months.  Moreover,  it  was 
now  apparent  that  the  available  forces  of  the  Russians  were 

3  This  most  promising  young  officer,  the  son  of  Admiral  Sir  Edmund  Lyons, 
died  on  the  23rd  of  June  following  of  wounds  received  during  a  bombardment 
of  Sebastopol,  by  a  portion  of  the  Allied  fleet,  on  the  18th  of  that  month. 


1 85 5  ITS  IMPORTANT  RESULTS.  281 

by  no  means  so  numerous  as  had  been  represented,  otherwise 
they  would  never  have  allowed  so  formidable  a  blow  to  be 
struck  without  some  show  of  resistance.  This  conclusion  was 
confirmed  by  an  intercepted  letter  from  Prince  Gortschakoff, 
from  which  it  appeared  that  General  W  ran  gel,  who  com 
manded  the  troops  in  the  peninsula  of  Yenikale,  and  had 
repeatedly  asked  for  reinforcements  in  anticipation  of  an 
attack  by  the  Allied  forces,  had  been  told  in  reply  that  none 
could  be  sent.  It  was  viewed  by  the  English  troops  as  a 
good  omen  that  the  successful  descent  upon  Kertch  was 
made  on  the  Queen's  birthday,  the  24th  of  May.  It  had. 
indeed,  struck  the  enemy  in  his  weakest  point — his  supplies 
of  food  and  the  means  of  transport — and  the  results  were  not 
long  in  making  themselves  felt. 

While  the  war  was  being  thus  vigorously  pressed  in  the 
East,  the  Peace  party  at  home  were  bent  on  bringing  it  to 
a  close.  On  the  21st  of  May  there  stood  for  discussion  in 
the  House  of  Commons  a  motion  by  Mr.  Milner  Gibson, 
then  Member  for  Manchester,  for  an  address  to  the  Crown, 
expressing  regret  that  the  opportunity  offered  by  the  Vienna 
Conferences  for  bringing  the  negotiations  to  a  pacific  issue 
had  not  been  improved,  and  asserting,  that  the  interpretation 
of  the  Third  Point  conceded  by  Eussia  furnished  the  elements 
for  renewed  Conferences  and  a  good  basis  for  a  just  and  satis 
factory  peace.  It  was  understood  that  this  motion  was  to 
be  supported  by  Mr.  Gladstone,  Sir  James  Graham,  and  Mr. 
Sidney  Herbert ;  but  on  being  assured  by  Lord  Palmerston, 
in  answer  to  a  question  from  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert,  that  the 
Conferences  were  not  yet  closed,  and  that  Austria  was  still 
charged  with  propositions  for  peace,  these  gentlemen  brought 
their  influence  to  bear  on  Mr.  Milner  Gibson,  who  consented 
to  postpone  his  motion  until  after  the  Whitsuntide  recess. 
Such  was  the  position  of  affairs  when  the  Prince  wrote  the 
following  letter  to  Baron  Stockmar  : — 


282  MOVEMENTS   OF  PEACE  PARTY.  1855 

4 1  steal  a  morning  hour  to  send  you  a  little  word.  Ernest 
went  away  on  Friday  evening,  having  stayed  over  the  cere 
mony  of  distributing  the  medals,  which  was  really  in  the 
highest  degree  solemn  and  impressive.  The  public  was  very 
enthusiastically  excited  and  moved,  for  many  a  noble  form, 
sadly  shattered,  passed  in  that  procession. 

4  The  moment  is  an  extremely  critical  one,  and  the  prospects 
are  not  cheerful.  The  state  of  France  just  at  this  time  is 
anything  but  tranqui Rising,  to  judge  by  what  is  reported  to 
us  on  all  hands,  and  the  Peace  party  are  working  hard  to 
make  the  Emperor  as  unpopular  as  possible.  Canrobert's 
resignation  shows  there  is  something  out  of  sorts  in  the  Army 
itself.  In  Vienna,  it  is  becoming  every  day  more  apparent 
that  they  have  not  resolved  to  join  in  the  war,  but  only  to 
enjoy  the  advantages  of  a  warlike  attitude,  and  that  they 
mean  to  use  the  pretext  of  an  alliance  with  us  for  the  purpose 
of  fixing  upon  us  a  vile  and  inconclusive  (achlechten)  Peace. 
Nevertheless,  even  the  new  French  Ministry  stands  under 
Austrian  influence. 

s  Here  a  combination  of  the  Derbyites,  of  Layard  and  his 
friends,  and  of  Lord  Ellenborough,  which  had  for  its  object 
to  overturn  the  Ministry,  has  fallen  to  pieces.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  Peace  party,  Bright,  &c.,  bring  forward  a  motion 
this  evening  for  peace  a  tout  prix,  to  which  the  Peelites 
(with  Gladstone  and  Graham  at  their  head)  will  give  their 
adherence ! !  and  which  Lord  Grey  is  to  follow  up  by  a 
motion  to  the  same  effect  in  the  Upper  House — a  motion 
which  has  been  concerted  with  Aberdeen ! !  Thus  these 
people  will  present  a  public  confirmation  of  all  the  charges 
which  have  been  made  against  them  within  the  last  two  years, 
and  embitter  the  nation  permanently  against  them,  in  a  way 
that  will  make  the  reconstruction  of  a  Conservative  party 
impossible. 

'  Buckingham  Palace,  20th  May,  1855.' 


1855  MR.   DISRAELPS  MOTION.  283 

It  had  long  been  surmised  that  the  views  of  Sir  James 
Graham  and  his  friends,  on  the  subject  of  the  war,  were  not 
in  harmony  with  those  of  the  nation  generally.  But  the 
public  were  taken  by  surprise  when  they  learned,  that  three 
leading  members  of  the  Govern  men  t,  which  had  sanctioned 
the  expedition  to  the  Crimea,  were  about  to  support  a  motion 
for  a  peace,  which  did  not  secure  the  objects  by  which  alone 
that  expedition  was  justified.  Could  it  be  that  the  Govern 
ment  were  about  to  be  parties  to  such  a  peace  ?  Was  this 
the  condition  on  which  the  withdrawal  of  Mr.  Gibson's 
motion  had  been  secured  ?  Were  they  true,  those  whispers 
which  were  current,  that  Lord  John  Eussell  had  concurred 
with  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys  in  approving  the  illusory  proposals 
of  Austria,  of  which  the  general  tenor  had,  by  this  time, 
become  known  in  the  higher  political  circles  ?  Fettered  as 
he  was  by  the  communications  which  were  still  taking  place 
with  the  French  and  Austrian  Governments,  Lord  Palmers- 
ton  could  not  speak  out  in  terms  which  would  at  once  have 
set  these  apprehensions  at  rest.  The  debate  on  Mr.  Milner 
Gibson's  motion  had  been  looked  forward  to  by  the  Opposition 
and  the  war  party  in  the  House  as  the  opportunity  for 
coming  to  a  clear  understanding  as  to  the  Government  policy. 
They  were  resolved  not  to  be  baffled  by  its  postponement. 
Accordingly  Mr.  Disraeli,  on  the  22nd  of  May,  gave  notice 
that  on  the  24th  he  would  move  the  following  resolution : — 

'  That  this  House  cannot  adjourn  for  the  recess  without  ex 
pressing  its  dissatisfaction  with  the  ambiguous  language  and 
uncertain  conduct  of  Her  Majesty's  Government  in  reference  to 
the  great  question  of  peace  or  war,  and  that,  under  these  cir 
cumstances,  the  House  feels  it  a  duty  to  declare,  that  it  will 
continue  to  give  every  support  to  Her  Majesty  in  the  prosecution 
of  the  war  until  Her  Majesty  shall,  in  conjunction  with  her 
Allies,  obtain  for  the  country  a  safe  and  honourable  peace.' 

The  speech  with  which  Mr.  Disraeli  introduced  his  motion 


284  DEBATE  1855 

was  largely  occupied  by  an  attack  upon  Lord  John  Russell, 
in  which  the  vehemence  of  his  former  hostility  to  Russia  was 
contrasted  with  the  yielding  spirit  which  he  had  shown 
towards  that  Power  in  the  Vienna  Conferences.  For  two 
hours  and  a  harf  Mr.  Disraeli  engaged  the  attention  of  the 
House,  while  he  sought  to  demonstrate,  by  ({notations  from 
the  published  despatches — enlivened  by  the  brilliancy  of 
sarcasm  and  invective,  which  within  certain  limits  are  the 
life  of  debate — that  Lord  John  Russell  had,  first  as  Foreijm 

O 

Minister,  and  again  as  Plenipotentiary,  compromised  the 
interests  of  the  nation.  Nor  were  the  Government,  said  the 
speaker,  less  to  blame.  They  had  been  weak  and  vacillating 
in  their  action,  appealing  to  Austria  as  a  mediator,  and 
vainly  expecting  her  to  be  an  ally.  It  was  time  to  end 
these  '  morbid  negotiations '  for  peace,  which  only  inspired 
distrust  in  our  allies,  our  generals,  our  officers,  our  aristo 
cracy,  and  to  close  the  Conferences.  '  I  am  against  this  prin 
ciple  of  "  leaving  the  door  open." 4  I  say,'  continued  Mr. 
Disraeli,  '  shut  the  door,  and  let  those  who  want  to  come  in 
knock  at  the  door,  and  then  we  shall  secure  a  safe  and  honour 
able  peace.'  This  we  coidd  only  hope  to  effect  by  a  vigorous 
prosecution  of  the  war.  The  speech  would  have  been  more 
satisfactory  if  it  had  contained  any  indication  of  what  the 
terms  of  a  safe  and  honourable  peace  would  be.  But  on 
this  point  it  was  silent.  As  it  was,  the  cheers  with  which 
the  warlike  portions  of  it  were  received,  showed  that  no 
change  of  opinion  had  taken  place  in  the  House  of  Commons. 
Well  assured  of  this  fact,  Sir  Francis  Baring  moved  an 

4  France,  for  obvious  reasons,  attached  much  more  value  to  Austria's  active 
co-operation  than  we  did.  Austria,  as  we  well  knew,  had  strong  reasons  not  to 
move  in  the  field  against  Russia  until  that  Power  was,  in  effect,  disabled,  for 
she  had  insurrections  to  apprehend  both  in  Hungary  and  Italy,  against  which 
she  had  to  reserve  her  forces.  In  writing  to  the  Emperor  of  the  French  on  the 
28th  of  May,  Lord  Palmerston  expressed  his  conviction  thus :  '  Victorieux  en 
Crimce,  nous  coni'tn<tndcrons  fa-mitte,  peut-etre  meme  Vepee  de  lAutnche; 
manguant  de  succes  tn  Criiuee,  nous  ri  awns  pas  mvme  sa  plume' 


1855  ON  MR.  DISRAELI'S  MOTION.  285 

amendment,  in  which  the  House,  while  merely  expressing  its 
regret  that  the  Conferences  had  not  led  to  a  termination  of 
hostilities,  was  asked  to  adopt  the  latter  part  of  Mr.  Disraeli's 
motion,  which  promised  support  for  the  war.  In  the  debate 
which  ensued  Mr.  Gladstone  developed  the  views  of  the 
members  of  the  Aberdeen  Cabinet,  who  had  seceded  from 
Lord  Palrnerston's  Government.  The  burden  of  his  speech 
was  to  urge  peace  on  the  terms  offered  by  Russia,  although, 
as  we  have  already  shown,  these  would  have  left  her  prepon 
derance  in  the  Black  Sea  where  it  was  at  the  commencement 
of  the  war.  He  acknowledged  that  he  had  approved  the 
demand  by  his  colleagues  under  Lord  Aberdeen  for  a  limita 
tion  of  the  Russian  fleet ;  but  contended,  that  Russia  having 
abandoned  the  pretensions  which  originally  led  to  the  war, 
to  continue  it  was  no  longer  justifiable.  What  we  now 
asked  for  in  the  way  of  limitation  was,  lie  argued,  an  in 
dignity  to  Russia.  All  the  terms  which  we  had  originally 
demanded  had  been  substantially  conceded,  and  if  we  fought, 
not  for  terms,  but  for  military  success,  let  the  House  look  at 
this  sentiment  with  the  eye  of  reason,  and  it  would  appear 
immoral,  inhuman,  unchristian. 

The  reply  to  Mr.  Gladstone  was  undertaken  by  Lord  John 
Russell,  who  had  no  difficulty  in  showing  that  the  condition, 
that  Russia's  naval  force  in  the  Black  Sea  must  be  restricted, 
was  no  more  an  indignity  now,  than  when  Mr.  Gladstone 
had  joined  with  his  colleagues  in  the  measures,  so  costly  in 
blood  and  treasure,  by  which  we  were  seeking  to  enforce  it. 
Without  such  limitation  Constantinople  could  not  be  secure 
against  the  designs  of  Russia.  The  refusal  of  that  Power  to 
submit  to  it  was  a  sure  indication,  that  she  continued  to 
cherish  these  designs,  and  that  the  peace  of  Europe  would 
be  again  disturbed  at  no  distant  date,  if  the  means  of  aggres 
sion  were  not  taken  from  her  by  the  conditions  of  peace. 
Security  for  Turkey  for  the  future,  as  well  as  for  the  present, 


286  LORD   GREY  ATTACKS  MINISTRY.  1855 

was  the  object  of  the  war.  The  ambition  of  Eussia  was 
illustrated  and  denounced  by  Lord  John  Russell  with  a 
vigour  and  elaboration  of  detail,  in  which  no  trace  of  a  dis 
position  to  accept  an  unsatisfactory  peace  was  to  be  observed. 
In  fact,  his  speech  influenced  in  no  slight  degree  the  vote 
which  was  taken  at  the  close  of  a  protracted  debate  next 
evening,  when  Mr.  Disraeli's  motion  was  negatived  by  a 
majority  of  100  in  a  House  of  538  members. 

The  motion  of  Sir  Francis  Baring  still  remained  to  be 
discussed,  and  also  an  amendment  upon  it  by  Mr.  Lowe, 
which  proposed  to  pledge  the  House  to  the  approval  in 
express  terms  of  a  rupture  of  negotiations  on  the  ground  of 
Russia's  refusal  to  restrict  the  strength  of  her  navy  in  the 
Black  Sea.  But  the  debate  upon  these  was  adjourned  till 
the  4th  of  June,  after  the  Easter  recess.  A  motion  of  Earl 
Grey's  in  the  House  of  Lords  on  the  25th  of  May,  in  terms 
nearly  identical  with  that  of  Mr.  Milner  Gibson,  and  sup 
ported  by  a  speech  chiefly  remarkable  for  its  warm  praises 
of  the  candour,  honesty,  and  pacific  spirit  of  the  late  Emperor 
Nicholas,  elicited  such  strong  opinions  from  every  section  of 
the  House  in  condemnation  of  peace  on  such  terms  as  Russia 
was  alone  disposed  to  concede,  that  it  was  not  pressed  to  a 
vote. 

While  these  agitating  discussions  were  going  on,  the  Court 
was  at  Osborne,  where  it  had  gone  as  usual  for  Her  Majesty's 
birthday.  The  severe  winter,  the  Prince  notes,  had  wrought 
great  havoc  upon  his  finer  shrubs  and  plants.  Holiday 
for  the  Prince  meant  little  more  than  changing  the  scene  of 
labour.  Still  the  cares  of  reading  and  answering  despatches, 
and  of  an  active  correspondence,  were  lightened  by  laying  out 
further  improvements  on  the  property,  and  by  excursions  to 
Portsmouth  to  inspect  the  transports  lying  there  with  horses 
to  replace  the  losses  in  the  Crimea,  and  to  the  Needles  to 
inspect  the  Victoria  and  Cliff  End  batteries,  part  of  the  Coast 


1 855  LETTERS  BY  PRINCE.  287 

defences,  in  which  the  Prince  had  always  taken  a  lively 
and  wakeful  interest.  While  at  Osborne,  the  details  were 
received  of  the  operations  on  the  Sea  of  Azoff,  the  results  of 
which  were  peculiarly  gratifying  to  the  Prince,  as  he  had 
long  urged  the  importance  of  an  attack  in  this  direction. 
On  the  30th  of  May  he  writes  to  the  Dowager  Duchess  of 
Coburg  : — 

'We  have  withdrawn  here  for  ten  days  for  the  quiet 
solemnisation  of  Victoria's  birthday.  To-morrow,  alas  !  our 
holiday  is  at  an  end,  and  then  new  fatigues  and  exertions  of 
every  kind,  in  temper,  mind,  and  body,  await  us  in  London. 
Of  our  negotiations  for  peace  nothing  has  come  ;  for  Ruesia 
naturally  recoiled  from  the  proposition  with  which  they 
commenced,  "  de  mettre  fin  a  sa  preponderance  maritime 
dans  la  Mer  Noire"  and,  after  what  had  passed,  we  could 
not  be  content  with  less.  Both  intelligible,  but  unfortunate, 
and  so  a  fresh  campaign  begins  forthwith. 

The  same  day  he  writes  to  Baron  Stockmar  as  follows : — 

'  We  return  to  town  to-morrow,  but  before  doing  so  I  will 
send  you  a  living  token  of  what  we  are  about.  We  are  well 
and  in  good  heart,  especially  since  the  tidings  of  the  de 
struction  of  the  forts  and  ships  at  the  Straits  of  Kertch, 
and  the  entry  of  our  light-draught  steam -vessels  into  the  Sea 
of  Azoff,  by  which  we  are  put  in  a  position  to  limit  the 
Russian  base  of  operations  by  way  of  Perekop,  and  to  pene 
trate  as  far  as  the  Don,  and  either  to  break  up  or  to  destroy 
their  great  magazines  of  supplies.  In  this  way  the  masses  of 
troops  which  the  Russians  are  able  to  bring  against  us  into 
the  Crimea  will  be  limited  to  an  amount  for  which  we  are 
quite  a  match.  Perhaps  in  summer  their  numbers  must 
even  be  reduced. 

'  In  General  Peli^sier  the  French  have  at  last  once  more 


288  CONFERENCES  AT   VIENNA    CLOSED.          1855 

found  a  leader,  who  is  capable  of  forming  a  decision  and 
acting  upon  it,  and  who  will  rekindle  the  spirit  of  the  French 
army  which  has  been  dashed  by  Canrobert's  irresolution  and 
want  of  firmness  ( Weichheit).  The  recent  night-attacks,  in 
which  the  Russians  have  lost  6,000  men,  are  a  voucher  of 
the  fact.  The  Sardinians  and  the  French  reserves  have 
now  arrived,  and  the  army  will  be  able  to  enter  upon  the 
campaign. 

'The  English  troops  once  more  amount  to  30,000  men 
under  arms,  and  their  spirit  is  excellent. 

4  In  diplomacy  we  are  just  as  badly  off  as  we  are  well  off 
in  the  field  !  Austria  seems  likely  to  seal  her  own  shame 
in  the  face  of  all  Europe.  The  new  French  Ministry  is  as 
incapable  as  might  be  expected  of  a  man  like  Walewski,  and 
the  Emperor's  position  most  unpleasant  ! 

'  The  Vienna  Conferences,  which  it  would  have  been  better 
to  leave  open,  must  now  be  closed,  if  only  to  get  the  Mi 
nistry  rest  in  Parliament.  Oh,  Oxenstiern  !  Oh,  Oxenstiern  ! ' 5 

When  this  letter  was  written,  the  French  and  English 
Governments  had  both  decided  upon  closing  the  Conferences. 
These  were  not,  however,  actually  closed  till  the  5th  of  June, 
when  the  respective  Plenipotentiaries  of  the  two  countries 
stated,  that  they  now  attended  the  Conferences  at  the  invi 
tation  of  the  Austrian  Ambassador,  but  that  they  had  no 
proposal  to  make.  Their  Governments  considered  the 
refusal  of  Russia  to  consent  to  any  limitation  of  her  Black 
Sea  fleet  as  final,  and  as  no  advantage  from  continuing  the 
Conferences  could  therefore  be  expected,  they  regarded  the 
negotiations  as  at  an  end,  and  the  Conferences  finally  closed. 

The  Court  returned  to  London  on  31st  of  May.  In 
anticipation  of  the  debate  on  Sir  Francis  Baring's  motion, 

5  The  allusion  here  is  to  the  well-known  saying  of  Count  Oxenstiern,  '  Oh, 
my  son,  mark  how  little  wisdom  goes  to  the  government  of  states  ! ' 


1 85 5        DEBATE   ON  SIR  F.   BARING'S  MOTION.         289 

in  which  all  the  debating  power  of  the  House  of  Commons 
was  sure  to  he  put  forth,  the  Queen  and  Prince  were  appre 
hensive  of  injury  to  the  national  interests  in  the  struggle 
with  Eussia,  as  well  as  to  the  reputation  of  statesmen  who 
had  guided,  and  might  be  expected  again  to  guide,  the 
destinies  of  the  kingdom,  if  the  example  of  Mr.  Gladstone 
in  the  debate  on  Mr.  Disraeli's  motion  should  be  followed 
by  those  members  of  Lord  Aberdeen's  Government  with 
whom  he  had  hitherto  acted  in  concert.  The  intimate 
friendship  which  had  so  long  existed  between  the  Prince 
and  Lord  Aberdeen  justified  him  in  making  the  late 
Premier  aware  of  the  impressions  produced  upon  Her 
Majesty  and  himself  by  the  line  of  policy  adopted  by  his 
late  colleagues.  He  accordingly  wrote  to  him  the  following 
letter  : — 

'  My  dear  Lord  Aberdeen, — I  had  sent  Colonel  Phipps  to 
your  house,  to  know  whether  you  were  in  town,  and  whether 
it  would  be  convenient  for  you  to  come  here  for  a  few 
minutes  before  dinner.  He  has  not  found  you  at  home,  and  I 
am  therefore  compelled  to  write  to  you  upon  a  subject  which 
would  have  been  much  better  treated  in  conversation  than 
it  can  be  in  a  hurried  letter — I  mean  the  line  which  your 
former  friends  and  colleagues,  with  the  exception  of  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle,  have  taken  about  the  war  question.  It 
has  caused  the  Queen  and  myself  great  anxiety,  both  on 
account  of  the  position  of  public  affairs  and  on  their  own 
account. 

4  As  to  the  first,  any  such  declaration  as  Mr.  Gladstone 
has  made  upon  Mr.  Disraeli's  motion  must  not  only  weaken 
us  abroad  in  public  estimation,  and  give  a  wrong  opinion  as 
to  the  determination  of  the  nation  to  support  the  Queen  in 
the  war  in  which  she  has  been  involved,  but  render  all 
chance  of  obtaining  an  honourable  peace  without  great  fresh 

VOL.  m.  u 


290  LETTER  BY  PRINCE   CONSORT  1855 

sacrifices  of  blood  and  treasure  impossible,  by  giving  new 
hopes  and  spirit  to  the  enemy. 

'  As  to  the  second,  a  proceeding  which  must  appear  to 
many  as  unpatriotic  in  any  Englishman,  but  difficult  to 
explain  even  by  the  most  consummate  oratory  on  the  part  of 
statesmen,  who  have,  up  to  a  very  recent  period,  shared  the 
responsibility  of  all  the  measures  of  the  war,  and  that  have 
led  to  the  war,  must  seriously  damage  them  in  public  es 
timation.  The  more  so,  as  having  been  publicly  suspected 
and  falsely  accused  by  their  opponents  of  having,  by  their 
secret  hostility  to  the  war,  led  to  all  the  omissions,  mistakes, 
and  disasters,  which  have  attended  the  last  campaign,  they 
now  seem  to  exert  themselves  to  prove  the  truth  of  these 
accusations,  and  (as  Americans  would  say)  to  "  realise  the 
whole  capital  of  the  unpopularity  "  attaching  to  the  authors 
of  our  misfortunes,  whom  the  public  has  for  so  long  a  time 
been  vainly  endeavouring  to  discover.6 

6  As  might  have  been  expected,  both  these  points  were  dwelt  upon  with  very 
damaging  effect  in  the  debate,  which  began  next  day.  One  passage  from  the 
speech  of  Mr.  J.  G.  Phillimore,  akin  to  many  which  might  be  quoted  from 
speakers  of  greater  name,  will  serve  as  an  illustration.  After  hearing  Mr. 
Gladstone's  r<  cent  speech,  he  said,  '  he  could  comprehend  how  great  and  magni 
ficent  preparations  had  shrunk  into  a  miserable  defence,  how  disaster  and  defeat 
had  sprung  from  the  bosom  of  victory,  and  how  a  fatal  and  malignant  influence 
had  long  paralysed  the  enterprise  of  our  fleets  and  armies.'  Of  course  there 
was  not  even  the  shadow  of  a  warrant,  in  fact,  for  the  inference  here  suggested, 
but  after  what  had  passed,  it  was  Sure  to  take  hold  of  many  minds.  '  No  one,'  the 
speaker  continued,  '  could  hear  that  speech  without  feeling  that  the  Emperor 
of  Russia  lost  powerful  auxiliaries  in  the  Cabinet  which  was  overthrown  by  a 
debate  in  the  House.  What  had  been  the  conduct  of  the  right  hon.  gentle 
man?  He  went  to  Manchester,  and  told  the  people  there,  that  it  was  futile  to 
attempt  to  prop  up  the  crumbling  empire  of  Turkey ;  he  entered  the  Cabinet 
of  Lord  Aberdeen,  and  became  a  party  to  a  war,  which  had  for  its  express 
object  the  maintenance  of  the  integrity  and  independence  of  the  Porte  ;  he 
withdrew  from  office,  and  came  out  the  advocate  of  peace  and  the  panegyrist  of 
Russian  moderation.'  In  the  course  of  a  very  brilliant  speech  in  the  same 
debate,  Sir  E.  B.  Lytton  made  one  of  his  most  effective  points,  when  he  said, 
4  When  Mr.  Gladstone  was  dwelling,  in  a  Christian  spirit  that  moved  them  all. 
on  the  gallant  blood  that  had  been  shed  by  England,  by  her  allies,  and  by  her 
foemen  in  that  quarrel,  did  it  never  occur  to  him,  that  all  the  while  he  was 


i855  TO  LORD  ABERDEEN.  291 

c  However  much  on  private  and  personal  grounds  I  grieve 
for  this,  I  must  do  so  still  more  on  the  Queen's  behalf,  who 
cannot  afford  in  these  times  of  trial  and  difficulty  to  see  the 
best  men  in  the  country  damaging  themselves  in  its  opinion 
to  an  extent  that  seriously  impairs  their  usefulness  for  the 
service  of  the  State. 

'  The  whole  position  reminds  me  exceedingly  of  the  one 
taken  at  the  time  of  the  Papal  Aggression,  when  also, 
whether  wisely  or  not.  the  Queen,  backed  by  the  national 
feeling,  was  at  issue  with  a  foreign  potentate,  you  all  took 
part  with  the  Pope  against  the  Queen's  Government  for  the 
sake  of  peace.  And  you  will  remember  that,  when  Lord 
John  Kussell's  Government  broke  down  in  1851,  the  Queen 
had  to  go  through  a  fruitless  Ministerial  crisis,  which  caused 
many  of  the  anomalies,  from  which  we  are  suffering  even 
now,  and  this  chiefly  on  account  of  the  peculiar  position  in 
which  your  party  had  placed  itself. 

;  I  write  all  this  now,  because  the  adjourned  debate  is  to 
be  reopened  to-morrow,  and  I  could  not  reconcile  it  to  myself 
not  to  put  you  in  possession  of  all  I  feel  upon  this  subject, 
which  I  know  you  will  receive  in  the  same  spirit  in  which  it 

is  given. 

4  Ever  yours  truly, 

'ALBERT. 

'Buckingham  Palace,  3rd  June,  1855.' 

The  debate  began  on  the  4th,  but  we  gather  from  the  follow 
ing  letter  by  the  Prince  to  Baron  Stockmar,  that  he  did  not 
see  Lord  Aberdeen  till  the  6th.  What  passed  in  this  inter 
view  the  letter  explains.  It  seems  to  have  had  little  effect 
in  modifying  the  views  of  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert  or  Sir  James 
Graham,  who  both  spoke  in  the  debate  and  strongly  advocated 
a  cessation  of  the  war  on  the  terms  offered  by  Russia  :— • 

speaking,  this   one  question  was  forcing  itself  upon  the  minrls  of  his  English 
audience,  "  And  shall  all  this  blood  have  been  shed  in  vain  ?  '" 

u  2 


292  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE  1855 

'The  Vienna  Conferences  are  now  closed.  What  the  im 
mediate  effect  of  this  will  be  upon  Austria  we  cannot  yet 
calculate,  although  we  may  be  sure  that,  as  matters  now 
stand,  it  will  not  even  yet  strike  a  blow. 

'  Our  debate  is  still  proceeding,  and.  as  you  will  have  seen, 
Cobden  and  Graham  have  made  Russian  speeches.  I  wrote 
a  fiery  (gehamischteri)  letter  to  Aberdeen,  to  which  he 
would  not  reply  in  writing,  but  preferred  paying  me  a  visit 
yesterday.  In  a  two  hours'  discussion  I  think  I  satisfied  him, 
that  Palmerston  has  acted  precisely  as  Aberdeen  would  have 
acted,  although  the  suspicion  that  Palmerston  did  not  wish 
for  peace  may  quite  possibly  be  well  founded.  Nevertheless, 
had  the  Russians  been  only  disposed  to  accept  it,  they  might 
have  had  it,  and  upon  a  basis  very  favourable  to  them  upon 
the  whole. 

'  The  closing  of  the  Conference  is  an  enormous  gain  for  our 
relations  with  Paris,  where  Walewski  is  quite  in  Morny's7 
hands,  and  what  that  is  you  know.  The  Emperor  mean 
while  is  so  obstinately  wedded  to  his  campaign  plan,8  which 
he  expounded  at  Windsor,  that  he  is  quite  unable  to  appre 
ciate  the  advantages  of  the  expedition  to  the  Sea  of  Azoff ; 
and  yet  we  have  in  one  week  taken  there  Kertch  and  Yeni- 
kale,  destroyed  Arabat,  Berdiansk,  and  Grenitschi,  annihilated 
nine  steamboats  and  240  sailing  vessels  and  six  millions 
of  rations  for  the  Russian  army,  taken  thirty  ships,  100 
cannons,  17,000  tons  of  coals,  1,000  head  of  cattle,  much 
provender  and  ammunition,  laid  the  whole  Sea  of  Azoff 
under  embargo,  and  cut  off  all  possible  communication  with 
the  Crimea  from  the  East ;  which  we  now  know  for  certain 
was  the  chief  source  of  supplies.  The  expedition  is  to  go  to 

7  M.   de   Morny   had   strong  Russian   proclivities,    and  "was   gravely   sus 
pected  of  using  his  position  to  promote  the  designs  of  Russian  diplomacy. 

8  Which  would  have  directed  a  large  expeditionary  force  upon  Simpheropol, 
so  as  to  prevent  reinforcements  being  sent  to  Sebastopol. 


1 8s'5  T0  BARON  STOCKMAR.  293 

Taganrog.  The  Eussians  have  been  obliged  to  evacuate 
Sotijouk  Kale,  near  Anapa,  leaving  behind  them  sixty  guns 
and  six  mortars.  Before  Sebastopol  the  troops  have  seized 
the  line  of  the  Tschernaja  and  the  valley  of  Baidar,  and  can 
now  operate  against  the  line  of  communication  with  Bagtschi 
Serai,  which  will  force  the  Eussians  towards  the  Belbec. 
Thus  military  matters  are  in  a  very  good  position. 

'  I  will  only  hope  that  you  are  as  well  off  as  regards  your 
health,  and  that  you  are  repulsing  your  enemy  at  all  points. 

'Buckingham  Palace,  7th  June,  1855.' 

The  debate  on  Sir  Francis  Baring's  motion  extended 
over  four  nights.  The  eloquence  of  Mr.  Cobden,  Mr.  Bright, 
Sir  James  Graham,  and  Mr  Sidney  Herbert  fell  flat  upon 
ears  that  were  little  inclined  to  adopt  the  praises  of  Eussia, 
with  which  their  speeches  abounded,  and  their  views  of  the 
terms  of  peace  which  should  satisfy  the  Allies  for  their 
sacrifices  in  the  war.  The  arguments  of  the  Peace  party 
found  no  more  strenuous  opponent  than  Lord  John  Russell. 
Nor  did  any  portion  of  his  powerful  speech  elicit  a  heartier 
response  than  the  following: — 

'  I  cannot  believe  that  if  Russia  were  left  to  work  her  way 
undisturbedly  to  the  capital  of  the  Turkish  Empire,  making, 
perhaps,  a  little  progress  in  1855,  greater  progress  ten  years 
hence,  and  still  further  twenty  years  hence,  the  independence  of 
Europe  would  be  secure.  Every  one  has  read  the  story  of  the 
first  Napoleon,  when  engaged  with  the  Emperor  Alexander  in 
considering  this  great  question,  calling  for  a  map,  putting  his 
finger  on  Constantinople,  and  after  some  moments'  meditation, 
exclaiming,  "  Constantinople  !  no,  it  is  the  empire  of  the  world  !  " 
I  remember,  too,  another  great  man,  the  Duke  of  Wellington, 
saying,  I  cannot  remember  exactly  on  what  occasion,  that  if, 
in  addition  to  the  forces  of  Russia  in  the  Baltic,  she  was  also,  by 
means  of  Constantinople,  to  obtain  the  command  of  the  Mediter 
ranean,  she  would  be  too  strong  for  the  rest  of  the  world.  That, 


294          RESULT  OF  SIR  F.   BARING'S  MOTION.         1855 

I  believe,  is  not  only  the  recognised  opinion  of  great  statesmen, 
but  it  is  also  the  pervading  sense  of  this  country,  and  we  must 
not,  therefore,  allow  Russia,  either  by  a  simulated  peace,  or  by 
open  war,  to  effect  the  conquest  of  Constantinople.' 

Lord  Palmerston  wound  up  the  debate,  and  spoke  even 
more  strongly  the  prevailing  sentiment,  both  of  the  House 
and  of  the  country.  Some  words  towards  the  close  of  the 
speech  were  received  with  frequent  cheers:  — 

'  I  say,  the  intention  of  Russia  to  partition  Turkey  is  manifest 
as  the  sun  at  noonday,  and  it  is  to  prevent  that  that  we  are  con 
tending.  That  is  the  object  of  the  war,  and  not  only  to  defend 
Turkey,  the  weak  against  the  strong,  but  to  avert  injury  and  danger 
from  ourselves.  Let  no  man  imagine,  that  if  Turkey  is  destroyed 
by  Russia,  and  that  gigantic  power  stride  like  a  Colossus  from 
the  Baltic  on  the  one  hand  to  the  Mediterranean  on  the  other, 
let  no  man  suppose  the  great  interests  of  this  country  would  not 
be  in  peril ;  let  not  the  peace-at-all-price  party  imagine  that  their 
commercial  interests  would  not  be  deeply  injured.  .  .  .  Trade 
would  soon  disappear,  were  the  Mediterranean  and  the  Baltic 
nnder  the  sole  command  of  a  Russian  naval  force,  and  that 
Power  exercising  a  dominant  control  over  Germany.' 

Lord  Palmerston  concluded  by  recommending  that  Mr. 
Lowe's  amendment  should  be  negatived,  and  Sir  Francis 
Baring's  resolution  unanimously  agreed  to.  This  course,  he 
reported  to  the  Queen  the  same  evening,  '  was  acquiesced  in 
by  Mr.  Walpole  and  Mr.  Gladstone,  and  adopted  by  the 
House.' 

The  next  day  the  Prince  presided  at  the  annual  Trinity 
House  dinner,  and  what  he  said  upon  this  occasion  has 
probably  attracted  more  attention  than  any  of  his  speeches. 
It  had  been  meditated  in  the  quietude  of  Osborne,  and  as 
the  leading  journal  said  of  it  at  the  time,  the  Prince  had 
'put  more  point  into  an  address  that  cannot  have  taken 
three  minutes  to  utter,  than  some  parliamentary  orators  can 
accomplish  in  two  hours.'  No  one  was  in  a  better  position 


1 85 5  SPEECH  BY  THE  PRINCE.  295 

than  the  Prince  to  know  and  estimate  the  difficulties  under 
which  a  war,  on  which  men's  minds  are  divided,  must  be 
carried  on  against  a  despotic  Power  by  a  country  with  a  free 
press,  and  a  government  whose  every  action  is  open  to  the 
often  impatient  challenge  of  members  of  both  Houses,  actu 
ated,  it  may  be,  by  strong  prepossessions,  or  misled  by  im 
perfect  information.  The  country  had  profited  by  what  the 
press  had  done  in  calling  attention  to  what  was  going  on  in 
the  Crimea ;  but  its  action  was  not  all  for  good.  Our 
journals  were  constantly  giving  the  Russians  the  information 
which  generals  seek  for  with  eagerness,  but  under  great  diffi 
culties,  through  the  medium  of  spies  and  deserters.  '  We 
do  not  learn  much  from  you  (the  French),'  the  present 
Emperor  had  said  only  a  few  weeks  before  to  General  La- 
gardie,  a  French  officer,  who  had  been  taken  prisoner  the 
day  before  the  battle  of  the  Alma.  '  It  is  the  English  press 
which  gives  us  information,  and  certes,  it  has  been  most 
valuable  to  us.' 9  Our  plans  had  often  been  thwarted  and 
great  loss  of  life  had  resulted  from  this  cause  ;  and  not  only 
Lord  Raglan,  but  his  successor  General  Simpson,10  and  other 
officers  in  responsible  positions,  had  frequently  expressed 
doubts  whether  England  could  carry  on  war,  unless  the  press 
put  some  restraint  upon  their  correspondents  at  the  seat  of 
action. 

It  is  to  some  extent  a  natural  curiosity,  which  details  by 
correspondents  such  as  we  have  indicated  are  meant  to 
gratify  ;  but  what  lover  of  his  country  would  not  willingly 

9  The  fact  is  mentioned  in  a  private  Despatch  to  Lord  Clarendon  from  Lord 
Cowley,  Paris,  25th  April,  1855. 

10  '  There  is  a  paragraph  in  the  Morning  Post,'  General  Simpson  writes  to 
Lord  Pan  mure  (24th  July,  1855),  giving  the  exact  strength  of  our  guards  at 
the  trenches,  lines  of  relief,  &c.     It  is  very  disgusting  to  read  these  things, 
which  are  read  at  Sebastopol  some  days  before  they   reach  us  here.'     The 
success  of  the  expedition  to  Kertch  was  mainly  due  to  the  fact,  that   the 
English  press  had  no  chance  of  divulging  the  point  on  which  it  was  to  be 
directed. 


296  SPEECH  BY  THE  PRINCE  1855 

forego  the  information  which  he  derives  from  them,  rather 
than  cause  a  moment's  embarrassment  to  those  who  are 
fighting  his  country's  battles  ?  To  check  the  evil  the  Prince 
seems  to  have  thought  that  attention  had  only  to  be  called 
to  it,  not  merely  as  it  prevailed  in  the  press,  but  also  in  the 
discussions  in  Parliament  by  which  Ministers  were  embar 
rassed  in  their  action,  both  in  diplomacy  and  in  the  conduct 
of  the  war.  The  time  for  frank  speaking  had  come.  Who 
so  fit  to  seize  the  occasion  as  himself,  who,  as  the  Consort  of 
the  Sovereign,  had  the  deepest  stake,  as  well  as  the  warmest 
interest,  in  the  welfare  of  the  kingdom  ?  It  was  in  proposing 
the  toast  of  '  Her  Majesty's  Ministers,'  that  he  spoke  as 
follows : — 

'  If  there  ever  was  a  time  when  the  Queen's  Government,  by 
whomsoever  conducted,  required  the  support — ay,  not  the  sup 
port  alone,  but  the  confidence,  goodwill,  and  sympathy  of  their 
fellow-countrymen,  it  is  the  present.  It  is  not  the  way  to  suc 
cess  in  war  to  support  it,  however  ardently  and  energetically, 
and  to  run  down  and  weaken  those  who  have  to  conduct  it.  We 
are  engaged  with  a  mighty  adversary,  who  uses  against  us  all 
those  wonderful  powers  which  have  sprung  up  under  the  genera 
ting  influence  of  our  liberty  and  our  civilisation,  and  employs 
them  with  all  the  force  which  unity  of  purpose  and  action,  im 
penetrable  secresy,  and  uncontrolled  despotic  powrer  give  him  ; 
whilst  we  have  to  meet  him  under  a  state  of  things  intended  for 
peace  and  the  promotion  of  that  very  civilisation — a  civilisation 
the  offspring  of  public  discussion,  the  friction  of  parties,  and 
popular  control  over  the  government  of  the  State.  The  Queen 
has  no  power  to  levy  troops,  and  none  at  her  command,  except 
such  as  voluntarily  offer  their  services.  Her  Government  can 
entertain  no  measures  for  the  prosecution  of  the  war  without 
having  to  explain  them  publicly  in  Parliament ;  her  armies  and 
fleets  can  make  no  movement,  nor  even  prepare  for  any,  without 
its  being  proclaimed  by  the  press  ;  and  no  mistake,  however 
trifling,  can  occur,  no  weakness  exist,  which  it  may  be  of  the 
utmost  importance  to  conceal  from  the  world,  without  its  being 
publicly  denounced,  and  even  frequently  exaggerated,  with  a 


1855  AT  TRINITY  HOUSE  DINNER.  297 

morbid  satisfaction.  The  Queen's  ambassadors  can  carry  on  no 
negotiation  which  has  not  to  be  publicly  defended  by  entering 
into  all  the  arguments  which  a  negotiator,  to  have  success,  must 
be  able  to  shut  up  in  the  innermost  recesses  of  his  heart — nay, 
at  the  most  critical  moment,  when  the  complications  of  military 
measures  and  diplomatic  negotiations  may  be  at  their  height,  an 
adverse  vote  in  Parliament  may  of  a  sudden  deprive  her  of  all 
her  confidential  servants. 

'  Gentlemen,  Constitutional  Government  is  under  a  heavy 
trial,  and  can  only  pass  triumphantly  through  it  if  the  country 
will  grant  its  confidence — a  patriotic,  indulgent,  and  self-denying 
confidence — to  Her  Majesty's  Government.  Without  this,  all 
their  labours  must  be  in  vain.' 

There  were,  of  course,  people  ready  to  cavil  at  this  speech 
as  though  it  advocated  the  superiority  of  autocratic  to 
constitutional  government.  But  the  Prince  had  the  satis 
faction  of  knowing  that  his  real  intention  was  appreciated, 
not  only  by  all  the  most  influential  journalists,  but  by  the 
country  generally.  The  weighty  words  with  which  the 
Spectator  closed  a  thoughtful  paper  must  have  given  him 
peculiar  pleasure  :— 

'  It  may  impose  some  self-sacrifice  upon  self-sufficiency  to  be 
obliged  to  hold  the  tongue,  when  privilege  enables  us  to  prattle  ; 
but  prattling  and  questioning  may  sacrifice  the  blood  of  our 
countrymen  ;  and  certainly  a  loose  talking  just  now  casts  grave 
discredit  on  the  institutions  we  prize,  and  on  the  men  to  whom 
these  institutions  are  entrusted  !  The  true  and  obvious  moral 
of  Prince  Albert's  admonition  is,  not  to  abandon  our  manifold 
blessings  in  order  to  acquire  the  military  advantages  of  Russia — 
which  would  not  be  worth  the  price — but  to  show  that  our  insti 
tutions  do  not  incapacitate  us  from  rivalling  the  Russian  autocracy 
jn  its  unity  of  purpose  and  concentration  of  action.' 

The  Prince  sent  the  speech  to  his  venerable  Mentor  at 
Coburg,  with  the  following  letter  : — 

'  Although  I  have  not  heard  one  syllable  from  you  since 
you  left  us,  still  I  will  not  on  that  account  interrupt  my 


298  CORRESPONDENCE   OF  PRINCE  1855 

tidings  about  ourselves.  The  Times  now  reaches  yon,  I  hope, 
regularly,  so  that  you  are  able  to  follow  the  course  of  public 
life  here.  You  will  have  been  horrified  at  the  speeches  of 
the  leaders  of  the  Peelite  party.  To-day  Mr.  Layard's 
debate  on  "  Administrative  Reform  "  and  "  The  Right  Man 
in  the  Right  Place  "  will  be  concluded.  The  new  Associa 
tion  makes  no  way,  because  its  object  is  too  vague,  and  its  pro 
moters  are  too  violent,  too  interested,  and  untruthful. 

'  The  few  words  which  I  spoke  last  week  at  the  Trinity 
House,  as  to  the  necessity  for  supporting  the  Government, 
which  had  to  conduct  the  war,  have  attracted  much  atten 
tion,  and  produced  that  decided  impression  which  truth  alone 
is  able  to  produce.  I  enclose  the  speech  and  some  newspaper 
criticisms  upon  it. 

4  The  Cattle  Market,  which  I  opened  on  Wednesday,  is  a 
wonderfully  grand  and  beautiful  work,  which  does  the  City 
all  possible  honour. 

'Victoria  is  well  and  cheerful;  her  nerves  are  tranquil. 
We  are  to  have  visits  from  Uncle  Leopold  with  the  children, 
the  Portuguese  (Royal  family),  and  perhaps  also  the  King  of 
Sardinia.  When,  we  do  not  know,  any  more  than  we  know 
when  Parliament  is  to  rise.  Uncle  Leopold  appears  to  be 
very  unwell,  for  he  puts  off  his  journey  from  day  to  day,  and 
complains  of  weakness  and  fever  ! 

'At  the  seat  of  war  everything  is  going  on  right  well. 
The  fall  of  Anapa  is  a  fresh  blow  to  Russia.  Pelissier  is  a 
"  trouvaille,"  energetic  and  determined.  Oddly  enough,  they 
are  in  Paris  (I  mean  Louis  Napoleon  is)  very  much  dissatisfied 
since  all  our  successes,  "  low  "  about  our  prospects,  anxious,  &c. 
I  am  at  a  loss  to  explain  why  !  The  advantage  of  the  expe 
dition  to  the  Black  Sea,  of  the  taking  of  the  Mamelon  and 
Port  du  Carenage,  is  in  no  degree  acknowledged ;  nothing 
but  complaints,  that  the  operations  exterieures  have  not  been 
undertaken. 


1855  WITH  BARON  STOCKMAR.  299 

'  The  nomination  of  the  Grand  Duke  Constantine  as  regent 
leads  to  the  inference  that  the  young  Emperor  will  soon  be 
taking  his  departure,  and  ought  to  put  Germany  on  the 
alert,  for  that  is  a  dangerous  neighbour. 

'  Austria  is  out  of  humour  with  herself,  with  God,  and  the 
world,  and  has  every  reason  to  be  so,  for  by  a  half-and-half 
policy  she  has  brought  herself  into  a  position  that  redounds 
little  to  her  honour. 

'Buckingham  Palace,  17th  June,  1855.' 

This  elicited  from  Baron  Stockmar  the  following  charac 
teristic  reply,  in  which  he  hits  what  he  felt  to  be  an 
important  omission  in  the  Prince's  speech,  but  one  which 
was  in  fact  due  solely  to  an  unlucky  slip  of  memory  in 
delivering  it : — 

'  Your  Eoyal  Highness's  speech  was  full  of  matter,  and 
very  well  timed.  That  the  press  should  try  to  weaken  the 
lesson  it  conveyed  by  the  assertion,  that  the  advantages  of 
the  Constitutional  system  counterbalanced  its  disadvantages, 
was  to  be  expected.  But  this  assertion  is  only  true,  so  far  as 
a  free  Constitution  develops  a  greater  amount  of  material 
and  moral  forces  than  the  forms  of  despotic  government. 
What  has  in  practice  to  be  chiefly  aimed  at  is  the  proper 
organisation  >of  some  one  given  force,  and  every  free  Consti 
tution  increases  the  difficulty  of  devising  and  putting  into 
shape  measures  which  meet  the  necessities  of  the  hour.  This 
difficulty  must  somehow  or  other  be  got  over,  otherwise  it 
may  very  easily  be,  that  an  inferior,  but  well-organised 
force  shall  overthrow  one  that  is  superior,  but  is  wanting  in 
concentration. 

'  Let  me  add,  that  I  miss  in  the  speech  a  saving  clause, 
which  by  anticipation  should  meet  the  charge  that  the 
Prince,  because  of  the  disadvantages  of  the  Constitutional 


300  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE,  1855 

system,  is  at  heart  inclined  to  award  the  preference  to  the 
despotic  form  of  government.' 

To  this  the  Prince  replied  :— 

'  It  has  given  me  very  great  pleasure  to  see  your  hand 
writing  once  more,  even  though  you  are  only  able  to  tell  me 
of  continued  indisposition.  In  such  times  words  of  consola 
tion  do  no  good,  and  all  the  eloquence  of  lookers-on  is 
powerless  to  alter  the  feelings  of  the  patient,  nay,  are  not 
unlikely  to  make  him  impatient,  and  thereby  to  aggravate 
his  sufferings.  That  cannot  be  my  object,  so  I  confine 
myself  to  this  piece  of  advice,  that  the  first  moment  you  feel 
a  return  of  strength  should  be  taken  advantage  of  for  a 
journey  to  Gastein,  and  for  calling  to  your  aid  the  benefi 
cent  influence  of  the  water  and  glorious  mountain  air  there. 

4 1  am  delighted  that  you  like  my  speech.  The  reproach 
that  I  have  omitted  a  saving  clause  is  quite  just.  There  it 
was  upon  the  paper,  but  it  did  not  flow  (why  I  know  not) 
from  the  lips.  .  .  .H 

'The  miscarriage  of  the  attack  [at  Sebastopol]  on  the 
18th  was  a  sad  affair  !  Now  the  cholera  has  made  its 
appearance  again  as  enemy.  General  Estcourt,  Admiral 
Boxer,  and  many  others  of  our  best  people  have  died  of  it. 
The  malady  has  been  especially  severe  on  the  Sardinians. 
The  Kussians  are  suffering  fearfully,  as  was  only  to  be 
expected.  We  are  kept  in  hot  water  by  the  disquiet  of  our 
Imperial  neighbour,  who  is  continually  sending  telegraphic 
orders,  to  which,  it  is  true,  Pelissier  does  not  pay  much 
heed,  but  he  thereby  places  himself  in  a  very  perilous 
position,  especially  as  the  other  Generals  are  allowed  to 
send  home  reports  about  him.  This  is  a  terrible  mistake 

11  Apparently  no  draft  or  copy  of  the  speech,  as  intended  to  be  spoken,  was 
preserved  by  the  Prince.  We  are,  therefore,  unable  to  re&tore  the  missing 
words. 


i855  COUNT  PERSIGNY.  301 

(ungeheuer  fehlerhaft).  Persigny,  who  goes  to  Paris  to-day 
to  fetch  his  wife,  has  promised  me  to  represent  the  danger 
to  his  master.  This  M.  Persigny  approves  himself  a  quite 
straightforward,  honourable,  and  well-meaning  man,  madly 
imprudent  and  naturalistic,  and  often  very  droll.  To  Lord 
Clarendon  he  will  say,  when  they  meet  in  conference  :  "  Ce 
pauvre  Waleivski  m*a  ecrit  une  depeche.  Voulez-vous  que 
je  vous  la  Use  ?  "  "  S'il  vous  plait.'''  "  Ah,  je  Vai  laissee 
a  la  maison,  mais  rtimporte  :  elle  ne  vaut  pas  la  peine  !  " 
He  is  very  fond  of  philosophizing,  and  I  have  had  many 
discussions  with  him,  which,  as  I  could  not  always  coincide 
with  his  views,  have  ended  in  his  taking  me  to  his  heart. 

4  Uncle  Leopold  comes  on  Tuesday  with  Philippe  and 
Charlotte  ;  and  by  the  end  of  the  week  we  purpose  to  get 
away  from  the  thoroughly  used-up  air  of  London.  The 
political  folly  and  levity  of  parties  and  the  press,  amidst  the 
terrible  mass  of  business,  makes  one's  head  reel. 

'  Buckingham  Palace,  28th  June,  1855.' 


302 


CHAPTER   LXV. 

THE  failure  of  the  assault  on  the  18th  of  June,  alluded  to  by 
the  Prince  in  his  letter  just  quoted,  was  the  first  serious 
check  which  the  Allies  had  received.  On  the  7th  they  had 
met  with  a  signal  success,  the  French  having  taken  the 
Mamelon,  and  the  position  known  as  the  Ouvrages  Blancs, 
and  the  English  the  Gravel  Pits,  a  Eussian  outwork  in  front 
of  the  Redan.  Emboldened  by  their  success,  a  simultaneous 
attack  upon  the  Malakoff  and  the  Redan  had  been  resolved 
on.  Against  his  own  conviction,  which  was  that  the  Redan 
could  not  be  taken  by  direct  assault,  but,  if  the  Malakoff  fell, 
would  be  at  the  mercy  of  the  besiegers,  Lord  Raglan  yielded 
to  the  urgent  demands  of  General  Pelissier,  that  the  attack 
on  both  should  be  made  together.  The  result  realised  his 
worst  anticipations ;  and  the  Allies  were  repulsed  with  heavy 
loss  at  both  points. 

This  reverse  probably  took  more  life  out  of  the  brave  old 
soldier  than  all  he  had  undergone  in  the  severity  of  the 
winter  and  the  anxieties  of  the  siege,  and,  what  was  worse,  in 
the  merciless  attacks  to  which  lie  had  been  subjected  at 
home.  On  the  24th  he  was  seized  with  illness,  and  he  died 
on  the  29th.  The  tidings  reached  the  Queen  the  same  day. 
What  grief  they  spread  in  the  Palace  will  best  be  shown  by 
the  letter  which  Her  Majesty  at  once  addressed  to  Lady 
Raglan  : — 

'Buckingham  Palace,  30th  June,  1855. 

'  Dear  Lady  Raglan, — Words  cannot  convey  all  I  feel  at  the 
irreparable  loss  you  have  sustained,  and  I  and  the  country 


1855  THE   QUEEN  TO  LADY  RAGLAN.  303 

also,  in  your  noble,  gallant,  and  excellent  husband,  whose 
loyalty  and  devotion  to  his  sovereign  and  country  were 
unbounded.  We  both  feel  most  deeply  for  you  and  your 
daughters,  to  whom  this  blow  must  be  most  severe  and 
sudden.  He  was  so  strong  and  his  health  had  borne  the  bad 
climate,  the  great  fatigues,  and  anxieties  so  well,  ever  since  he 
left  England,  that,  though  we  were  much  alarmed  at  hearing 
of  his  illness,  we  were  full  of  hopes  of  his  speedy  recovery. 

'  We  must  bow  to  the  will  of  Grod  !  But  to  be  taken  away 
thus,  on  the  eve  of  the  successful  result  of  so  much  labour, 
so  much  suffering,  and  so  much  anxiety,  is  hard  indeed  ! 

'  We  feel  much,  too,  for  the  brave  army,  whom  he  was  so 
proud  of,  and  who  will  be  sadly  cast  down  at  losing  their  gallant 
commander,  who  had  led  them  so  often  to  victory  and  glory. 

'  If  sympathy  can  be  any  consolation,  you  have  it,  for  we 
all  have  alike  to  mourn,  and  no  one  more  than  I,  who  have 
lost  a  faithful  and  devoted  servant,  in  whom  I  had  the 
greatest  confidence. 

'  We  both  most  anxiously  hope,  that  your  health,  and  that 
of  your  daughters,  may  not  materially  suffer  from  this 
dreadful  shock.  Believe  me  always,  my  dear  Lady  Eaglan, 

'  Yours  very  sincerely, 

'  VICTORIA  R.' 

In  a  letter  to  Baron  Stockmar  a  few  days  later  (7th  July) 
the  Prince,  speaking  of  Lord  Raglan's  death,  says  :— 

'  Since  I  last  wrote  to  you,  we  have  added  Lord  Raglan  to 
our  losses.  Spite  of  all  that  has  been  said  and  written 
against  him,  an  irreparable  loss  for  us  !  There  is  something 
tragic  in  the  manner  of  his  death.  That  he  should  survive 
the  disaster  of  the  bloody  assault  on  Waterloo  day,  and  then 
die  of  sickness  !  The  18th  was  the  nail  in  his  coffin,  for  he 
knew  that  his  troops  could  do  nothing  under  the  circum- 


304   PROPOSAL  TO  MOVE  WESTMINSTER  SCHOOL.    1855 

stances  which  Pelissier  had  created,  and  to  give  them  the 
order  to  attack  was  to  send  them  to  certain  death  ;  and  yet, 
had  he  not  done  so,  the  French  army  would  have  believed  he 
was  deserting  them  in  the  hour  of  need,  and  ascribed  their 
serious  losses  to  him  alone.1  The  choice  must  have  been  in 
finitely  hard  for  him.  And  yet  the  French  insinuate,  and, 
what  is  worse,  The  Times  (///)  does  so  too,  that  Lord  Raglan 
is  alone  to  blame.' 

In  the  same  letter  the  Prince  announces,  with  no  small 
satisfaction,  that  the  Court,  together  with  King  Leopold, 
and  his  son  and  daughter,  are  to  leave  London  for  Osborne 
on  the  1  Oth.  '  We  are  quite  exhausted,'  he  adds,  '  by  the 
heat,  and  the  winding  up  of  the  affairs  of  the  season.' 

Among  the  multifarious  subjects  of  public  and  social 
interest,  which  at  this  time,  as  indeed  at  all  times,  engaged 
the  Prince's  attention,  was  one,  which  only  now  after  an 
interval  of  twenty-two  years,  seems  likely  to  be  taken  up 
and  dealt  with  seriously.  An  entry  in  his  Diary  ou  the  4th 
of  July  mentions  that  he  had,  in  concert  with  the  Sub-Dean 
of  Westminster,  Lord  John  Thynne,  drawn  up  a  plan  for  the 
removal  of  Westminster  School  into  the  country,  pulling 
down  all  the  old  buildings  connected  with  it,  and  throwing 
open  the  ground  adjoining  the  Abbey  as  a  park  to  the  public. 
The  eminently  practical  mind  of  the  Prince  would  not  have 
entertained  a  project  so  large  in  its  proportions,  and  involving 

'  '  I  always  guarded  myself  from  being  tied  down  to  attack  at  the  same 
moment  as  the  French,  and  I  felt  that  I  ought  to  have  some  hope  of  their 
success  before  I  committed  our  troops ;  but  when  I  saw  how  stoutly  they  were 
opposed,  I  considered  it  was  my  duty  to  assist  them  by  attacking  myself,  and 
both  Sir  George  Brown  and  General  Jones,  who  were  by  my  side,  concurred 
with  me  in  thinking,  that  we  should  not  delay  to  move  forward.  Of  this  I  am 
quite  certain,  that,  if  the  troops  had  remained  in  our  trenches,  the  French 
would  have  attributed  their  non-success  to  our  refusal  to  participate  in 
the  operation.' — Private  Despatch,  Lord  Raglan  to  Lord  Panmurc,  19th  June, 
1855. 


1855  MR.   MILNER   GIBSON'S  MOTION.  305 

so  considerable  an  expenditure  of  public  money,  had  he  not 
considered  it  to  be  essential  to  the  welfare  of  the  time- 
honoured  School,  as  well  as  called  for  by  a  just  regard  to  the 
safety  and  the  beauty  of  the  great  national  Cathedral  and 
Campo  Santo. 

Although  the  affairs  of  'the  season,'  in  the  fashionable  sense, 
might  have  been  wound  up,  Parliament  was  still  to  be  the  scene 
of  some  of  the  fiercest  conflicts  of  a  Session,  which  had  already 
been  prolific  of  unusually  animated  debates.  The  very  war 
like  tone  of  Lord  John  Russell  in  the  recent  debates  upon 
the  peace  proposals  had  led  to  a  manifesto  from  Count  Buol, 
the  Austrian  Plenipotentiary  at  the  Vienna  Conferences,  in 
which  attention  was  called  to  the  inconsistency  of  Lord  John 
Russell's  language  to  Parliament  with  that  which  he  had 
held,  in  common  with  M.  Drouyn  de  Lhuys,  in  his  confiden 
tial  interviews  with  Count  Buol  at  Vienna,  where  both 
Ministers,  Count  Buol  stated,  '  showed  themselves  decidedly 
inclined  to  our  (the  Austrian)  proposal,  and  undertook  to 
recommend  the  same  to  their  Governments  with  all  their 
influence.'  On  this  document  being  made  public,  Mr.  Milner 
Gibson  lost  no  time  in  seizing  the  vantage  ground  which  it 
gave  to  himself  and  his  friends  of  the  Peace  party.  Accord 
ingly,  on  the  6th  of  July,  he  asked,  in  his  place  in  Parlia 
ment,  for  explanations  from  the  Government  of  their  opposi 
tion  to  the  views  of  their  colleague  and  Plenipotentiary,  If 
the  facts  were,  as  stated  by  Count  Buol,  how  was  Lord  John 
Russell's  approval  of  the  Austrian  proposal  to  be  reconciled 
with  his  remaining  in  office  to  carry  on  the  war  ? 

It  was  only  too  clear  that  our  Plenipotentiary  had  made  a 
series  of  irreparable  mistakes  ;  first,  in  countenancing  proposals 
which  were  wholly  incompatible  with  the  instructions  of  both 
the  English  and  French  Governments ;  next,  in  not  having 
retired  from  the  Cabinet,  with  which  he  was  at  direct 
variance  as  to  what  were  and  were  not  satisfactory  terms  of 

VOL. in.  x 


3o6  ATTACK   ON  LORD  JOHN  RUSSELL.  1855 

peace  ;  and  again,  when  he  threw  himself  into  the  front  rank 
to  advocate  a  war  policy,  which  by  his  admissions  at  Vienna 
— admissions  which  were  certainly  as  well  known  to  Prussia 
and  Eussia  as  to  the  Allied  Governments — he  had  in  fact 
condemned.  Nothing  was  needed  beyond  Lord  John  Eussell's 
own  reply,  to  point  the  invectives  which  it  provoked  from 
Mr.  Cobden,  Mr.  Koebuck,  and  Mr.  Disraeli.  For  in  that 
reply  he  admitted,  that  in  his  view  the  Austrian  proposal 
might,  and  ought  to  .have  put  an  end  to  the  war,  and  led  to 
a  safe  and  honourable  peace  ;  and  that  he  retained  this  opinion, 
notwithstanding  the  representations  of  his  colleagues,  on  his 
return  from  Vienna,  but  had  remained  in  office  from  a  sense 
of  the  public  inconvenience,  which  at  so  critical  a  period 
must  ensue  from  a  fresh  change  in  the  Government  arrange 
ments  so  soon  after  the  recent  Ministerial  crisis.  It  was 
obvious  that  no  such  plea  would  be  accepted  either  by  the 
party  who,  with  Mr.  Cobden,  Mr.  Bright,  and  Mr.  Gladstone 
at  their  head,  were  clamouring  for  peace,  or  by  the  much 
more  numerous  party  in  the  House,  who  were  bent  on  a 
vigorous  prosecution  of  the  war,  but  distrusted  the  sincerity 
of  the  Government  in  carrying  out  the  wish  of  the  nation. 
Well  might  Lord  Palmerston,  in  sending  a  precis  of  the  dis 
cussion  to  the  Queen,  say,  '  this  evening  in  the  House  of 
Commons  has  not  been  an  agreeable  one.' 

What  had  passed  in  the  House  created  great  excitement 
in  the  country.  The  temptation  which  it  afforded  for  dealing 
a  blow  at  the  Ministry  was  irresistible,  and  on  the  10th  of 
July  Sir  E.  Bulwer  Lytton  gave  notice  of  the  following 
motion  : — '  That  the  conduct  of  our  Minister  in  the  recent 
negotiations  at  Vienna  has,  in  the  opinion  of  this  House, 
shaken  the  confidence  of  this  country  in  those  to  whom  its 
affairs  are  entrusted.'  Two  days  later  Lord  John  Eussell 
explained  to  the  House,  that  although  at  the  end  of  April, 
and  in  the  first  days  of  May,  he  thought  the  Austrian  pro- 


1 85 5  HE  RETIRES  FROM  OFFICE.  307 

positions  might  have  been  assented  to,  he  did  not  consider 
that  they  could  now,  '  after  the  events  and  proceedings  which 
have  since  occurred,'  form  the  foundation  of  a  satisfactory 
peace.  Neither  the  House  nor  the  public  showed  any  disposi 
tion  to  accept  the  statement  in  mitigation  of  their  dis 
pleasure  at  the  position  in  which  they  found  themselves 
placed,  before  their  adversary  and  Europe,  of  carrying  on  a 
war,  condemned  by  a  leading  member  of  the  executive 
government.  The  explanation  was  generally  regarded  only  as 
making  bad  worse.  Indeed,  such  was  the  prevailing  excite 
ment,  that  the  stability  of  the  Ministry  was  in  danger,  a 
danger  so  imminent,  that  it  was  even  doubtful  if  the  re 
signation  of  Lord  John  Russell  could  avert  it.  To  himself 
it  must  have  been  apparent  that  his  continuance  in  office 
could  only  embarrass  and  endanger  his  colleagues ;  and  on 
the  13th  he  placed  his  resignation  in  Lord  Palmerston's 
hands.  On  the  16th,  the  day  appointed  for  the  discussion  of 
Sir  E.  B.  Lytton's  motion,  Lord  John  Russell  himself  an 
nounced  to  the  House  that  he  was  no  longer  a  Minister. 
The  danger  was  averted.  Public  distrust  was  appeased, 
for  by  this  time  it  was  well  ascertained,  that  Lord  John 
Russell  had  stood  alone  in  his  views,  and  Sir  E.  B.  Lytton 
withdrew  his  motion  with  the  general  approval  of  the  House. 

Even  the  opponents  of  the  Government  must  have  rejoiced 
at  this  result.  These  were  not  times  to  allow  party  or  personal 
feelings  to  predominate  in  the  national  councils.  The  words 
of  the  Prince's  Trinity  House  speech,  recommending  unity 
of  action,  had  sunk  into  men's  minds,  and  were  probably 
not  without  effect  in  tempering  the  tactics  of  the  Opposition. 
He  seems,  however,  from  the  following  passage  in  a  letter 
to  Baron  Stockmar  from  Osborne,  on  the  16th.  to  have  felt 
uncertain  down  to  the  last  as  to  the  fate  of  the  Ministry. 

After  announcing  to  the  old  physician  that  Princess  Louise, 
and  the  Princes  Arthur  and  Leopold,  had  been  seized  with 

x  2 


3o8  MR.   ROEBUCK'S  MOTION.  1855 

scarlet  fever,  and  telling  him  of  all  that  had  been  done  to 
isolate  them,  to  prevent  the  infection  from  spreading,  more 
especially  to  the  children  of  the  King  of  the  Belgians,  who, 
along  with  their  father,  were  then  the  Queen's  guests  at 
Osborne,  the  Prince  continues  : — 

'  In  politics  also  we  have  fresh  causes  for  uneasiness  at 
home.  Lord  John  is  compromised  by  Count  Buol's  publi 
cation,  on  account  of  the  expressions  which  he  made  use  of 
at  Vienna,  as  to  which  questions  have  been  put  to  him  in  the 
House  of  Commons,  where  he  has  roused  so  much  indignation 
by  his  answers,  that  all  parties  have  combined  to  upset  the 
Ministry.  He  has  resigned  ;  but  it  still  remains  to  be  seen 
whether  the  excitement  of  parties  will  be  appeased  by  the 
sacrifice.  .  .  .  To-day  the  debate  commences  on  a  motion  by 
Sir  Edward  Bulwer  Lytton  of  want  of  confidence.' 

Next  day  Mr.  Koebuck  brought  forward  a  motion,  founded 
on  the  report  of  his  Committee  of  Inquiry,  for  a  vote  of 
censure  on  Lord  Aberdeen's  Ministry,  as  the  cause  of  the 
sufferings  of  our  army  during  the  winter  campaign  in  the 
Crimea.  The  feeling  of  the  public  as  to  those  whom  they 
had  at  one  time  regarded  as  the  authors  of  those  calamities, 
had  by  this  time  become  greatly  modified.  It  had  run  into 
other  channels — bitterness  against  the  members  of  Lord 
Aberdeen's  Ministry,  who  were  now  in  the  same  ranks 
with  the  Peace  party — and  a  determination  not  to  pursue 
vindictively  the  men  who  had  done  their  best  to  grapple 
with  a  defective  system  and  with  unforeseen  emergencies, 
but  to  turn  the  sad  experiences  of  the  war  to  account  by 
avoiding  the  errors  from  which  they  had  sprung.  The  past 
could  not  be  mended, — best  leave  it  alone,  was,  in  a  word, 
the  prevailing  sentiment.  It  was  expressed  by  General  Peel, 
when  he  moved 6  the  previous  question,' — an  amendment  which 
the  House  adopted,  after  two  nights  of  debate,  by  a  majority 
of  107  in  a  House  of  471  members. 


i855  TURKISH  GUARANTEED  LOAN.  309 

The  very  next  night,  however,  the  Government  narrowly 
escaped  a  serious  defeat.  By  a  Convention  concluded  with 
Turkey  on  the  26th  of  June,  the  Governments  of  France  and 
England  undertook  to  guarantee  the  payment  of  the  interest 
of  a  loan  of  5,000,000£.  to  Turkey.  The  French  Chambers 
had  already  sanctioned  this  Convention,  but  the  Eesolutions 
introduced  with  a  similar  object  by  Lord  Palmerston  on  the 
20th  of  July  met  with  an  opposition  as  determined  as  it  was 
unexpected.  The  money  was  absolutely  necessary  to  enable 
the  Porte  to  bear  its  share  of  the  costs  of  the  war  ;  but  without 
the  guarantee  proposed  there  was  no  chance  of  its  being 
raised.  To  have  repudiated  the  transaction  would  have  been 
an  outrage  to  our  Allies,  who  might  well  have  shrunk  from 
further  co-operation  with  an  Executive,  whose  most  solemn 
engagements  were  liable  to  be  rendered  nugatory  by  a  Par 
liamentary  vote.  What  stronger  confirmation  could  have 
been  given  of  the  difficulties  of  a  constitutional  government 
than  the  possibility  of  such  a  result  ?  And  yet  the  Resolu 
tions  were  only  carried  by  a  majority  of  three,  the  numbers 
being  135  to  132.  On  reflection  many  of  those  who  had 
voted  in  the  minority  saw  that  they  had  made  a  mistake,  and 
the  Bill  to  give  effect  to  the  Resolutions  was  passed  without 
further  opposition. 

In  writing  to  Baron  Stockmar  on  the  25th  of  July,  the 
Prince  speaks  of  this -critical  incident  thus  : — 

c  After  Lord  John's  embarrassing  escapade,  the  Peelites 
got  into  a  fresh  scrape  by  suddenly  combining  with  all  the 
fractions  of  the  Opposition  in  an  attempt  to  upset  the 
Turkish  loan.  The  Ministry  scraped  through  with  a  majority 
of  three  I !  otherwise  the  treaty  which  had  been  concluded, 
and  already  ratified,  with  Turkey  and  France,  would  have 
been  broken  and  flung  overboard.  All  "  for  a  more  vigorous 
prosecution  of  the  war,"  so  runs  the  talk.' 

The  subject  of  peace  or  war  was  again  brought  before  the 


3io  SPEECH  BY  LORD  PALMERSTON  1855 

House  on  the  30th  of  July  by  Mr.  Laing,  in  moving  for 
further  papers  relative  to  the  Vienna  Conferences.  The 
debate  was  chiefly  remarkable  for  a  powerful  speech  by  Mr. 
Gladstone,  strongly  marked  by  Kussian  sympathies,  in  sup 
port  of  the  Austrian  proposals,  and  in  which  the  position  of 
the  Allies  was  depicted  in  the  most  unfavourable  colours,  and 
the  continuance  of  the  war  urgently  deprecated.  The  debate 
dropped  without  a  division ;  but  upon  the  7th  of  August 
Lord  John  Kussell,  on  the  third  reading  of  the  Consolidated 
Fund  Appropriation  Bill,  took  occasion  to  revive  the  subject 
by  a  long  speech  on  the  prospects  of  the  war,  the  probabilities 
of  peace,  and  the  position  of  the  Continental  States.  To 
this  speech  Lord  Palmerston  replied,  and  while  expressing 
the  determination  of  his  Government  to  give  effect  to  the 
wishes  of  the  country  and  to  compel  a  satisfactory  peace  by 
an  unflinching  prosecution  of  the  Avar,  he  alluded  to  the 
position  taken  up  by  Mr.  Gladstone  in  his  recent  speech  in 
the  following  terms  : — 

'  No  man  could  have  been  a  party  to  entering  into  the  great  con 
test  in  which  we  are  engaged — no  man,  at  least,  ought  to  have  been 
a  party  to  such  a  course  of  policy — without  having  deeply 
weighed  the  gravity  of  the  struggle  into  which  he  was  about  to 
plunge  the  country,  and  without  having  satisfied  his  mind  that 
the  cause  was  just,  that  the  motives  were  sufficient,  and  that 
the  sacrifices  which  he  was  calling  upon  the  country  to  make 
were  such  as  a  statesman  might  consider  it  ought  to  endure. 
Sir,  there  must  indeed  be  grave  reasons  which  could  induce  a 
man  who  had  been  a  party  with  Her  Majesty's  Government 
to  that  line  of  policy,  who  had  assisted  in  conducting  the  war, 
who  had,  after  full  and,  perhaps,  unexampled  deliberation,  agreed 
to  enter  upon  the  war,  who,  having  concurred  after  that  full  and 
mature  deliberation  in  the  commencement  of  the  war,  had  also 
joined  in  calling  upon  the  country  for  great  sacrifices  in  order 
to  continue  it,  and  who  had,  up  to  a  very  recent  period,  assented 
to  all  the  measures  proposed  for  its  continuance  ;  I  say,  there 
must,  indeed,  be  grave  reasons  which  could  induce  a  man,  who  had 


1855  IN  SUPPORT  OF   WAR  POLICY*  311 

been  so  far  a  party  to  the  measures  of  the  Government,  utterly 
to  change  his  opinions,  to  declare  this  war  unnecessary,  unjust, 
and  impolitic,  to  set  before  the  country  all  the  imaginary  disasters 
with  which  his  fancy  could  supply  him,  and  to  magnify  and  ex 
aggerate  the  force  of  the  enemy  and  the  difficulties  of  our  posi 
tion.' 

In  this  part  of  Lord  Palmerston's  speech  he  struck  a  note 
which  wakened  a  lively  response  both  in  the  House  and  in  the 
country.  Nor  was  he  less  sure  of  their  sympathy,  when  in 
referring  to  the  argument  used  by  some  of  the  Peace  party, 
that  Turkey  had  herself  been  satisfied  with  the  Austrian 
proposals,  he  said,  that  the  objects  for  which  the  war  was 
undertaken  were  far  too  wide  and  important  to  depend  solely 
upon  the  decision  of  the  Turkish  Government.  The  pro 
tection  of  Turkey  was  one  of  these  objects,  but  only  one,  and 
not  for  the  sake  of  Turkey  merely,  but  as  a  means  to  an  end. 
Beyond  the  mere  question  of  the  defence  of  Turkey,  was  the 
larger  object  of  repressing  the  grasping  ambition  of  Russia; 
an  ambition,  he  continued,  '  which  aims  at  the  moral  and 
physical  subjugation  of  the  Continent  of  Europe,  and  the 
extinction  of  those  principles  of  political  and  commercial 
liberty  upon  which  the  independent  existence  of  the  king 
doms  of  Europe  must  mainly  depend.'  The  Governments 
of  England  and  France,  therefore,  had,  in  his  view,  as  great, 
and  perhaps  a  greater  interest,  in  the  question  what  the 
terms  of  peace  should  be,  than  the  Government  of  Turkey 
itself. 

On  the  14th  of  August  Parliament  was  prorogued  by 
Commission.  The  session  had  not  been  altogether  barren 
of  measures  of  importance.  The  first  of  the  Acts  for  regu 
lating  the  local  government  of  the  metropolis,  and  fo*  the 
establishment  of  Joint  Stock  companies  with  limited  liability, 
were  passed.  Measures  were  also  passed  for  improving  the 
Constitutions  of  New  South  Wales,  Victoria,  and  Tasmania, 


3i2  ^PROJECTED    VISIT  TO  PARIS.  1855 

and  the  stamp  duty  on  newspapers  was  abolished.  In  the 
Queen's  Speech  the  French  alliance  was  dwelt  upon  with 
marked  emphasis.  Her  Majesty  trusts,  it  said,  4  that  an 
alliance  founded  on  a  sense  of  the  general  interests  of  Europe, 
and  consolidated  by  good  faith,  will  long  survive  the  events 
which  have  given  rise  to  it,  and  will  contribute  to  the  per 
manent  well-being  and  prosperity  of  the  two  great  nations, 
whom  it  has  linked  in  the  bonds  of  honourable  friendship.' 
This  language  was  felt  to  be  most  appropriate,  on  the  eve  of 
the  visit  which  the  Queen  and  Prince  were  within  the  next 
few  days  to  pay  to  the  Emperor  at  Paris,  and  which  was  now 
being  looked  forward  to  on  both  sides  of  the  Channel  with 
the  liveliest  interest. 

The  Emperor  had  wished  that  the  visit  should  exceed 
considerably  in  length  that  which  the  Empress  and  himself 
had  paid  in  England  ;  and  had  suggested  a  programme  to 
fill  up  the  time,  the  attractions  of  which  were  difficult  to 
resist.  But  the  visit  had  to  be  restricted  to  eight  days,  for 
reasons  expressed  in  the  following  passage  of  a  letter  from 
Lord  Clarendon  to  Lord  Cowley  (7th  July)  : — 

'  The  Emperor  is,  I  believe,  aware,  that  the  Queen's  life  is  one 
of  incessant  occupation  and  fatiguing  business,  but  he  may  perhaps 
not  know,  that  it  is  absolutely  indispensable  for  her  health  to  pass 
some  weeks  in  Scotland,  and  to  be  invigorated  by  the  mountain 
air.  She  cannot  remain  there  after  the  first  week  in  October, 
and  she  cannot  this  year  arrive  before  the  first  week  in  September. 
I  am  sure,  therefore,  that  consideration  for  Her  Majesty  will  out 
weigh  with  the  Emperor  any  feeling  of  disappointment  he  may 
entertain,  that  the  Queen's  visit  will  not  be  quite  so  long  as  he 
has  kindly  desired  it  should  be.' 

It  was  accordingly  arranged  that  the  visit  should  begin 
on  Saturday  the  18th  and  terminate  on  Monday  the  27th  of 
August. 

Before  that  time  several  important  incidents  in  connec- 


i855  BOMBARDMENT  OF  SWEABORG.  313 

tion  with  the  war  had  taken  place.  The  Baltic  Fleet,  under 
Rear-Admiral  Dundas,  after  several  minor  operations,  in 
concert  with  the  French  squadron  addressed  itself  to  the  bom 
bardment  of  Sweaborg — an  operation  which,  for  want  of 
gunboats,  Sir  Charles  ]NTapier  had  declined  to  hazard  in  1854. 
On  the  morning  of  the  9th  of  August  the  bombardment  was 
opened.  Shot,  shell,  and  rockets  rained  into  the  fortress  from 
our  gun  and  mortar  boats,  and  the  batteries  which  the  French 
had  established  on  one  of  the  many  neighbouring  islands. 
The  bombardment  was  continued  with  little  intermission  till 
four  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  llth,  by  which  time  it 
was  computed,  that  no  less  than  a  thousand  tons  of  shot  and 
shell  had  been  thrown  into  the  place  by  the  English  alone. 
Finding  the  destruction  of  the  stores  and  arsenals  and  every 
building  of  importance  to  be  complete,  the  Admiral  resolved 
to  make  no  further  attempt  on  the  fortifications  themselves, 
as  this  must  have  cost  many  lives,  without  any  corresponding 
advantage,  even  if  successful.  As  it  was,  he  was  able,  when 
reporting  to  the  Admiralty  on  the  llth  the  success  of  his 
operations  in  the  destruction  of  this  important  arsenal  and 
dockyard,  to  add  that  few  casualties  had  occurred,  and  that 
no  lives  had  been  lost  in  the  Allied  fleets. 

Since  the  repulse  of  the  18th  of  June  before  Sebastopol, 
the  besiegers  had  been  pushing  forward  their  approaches  with 
so  much  energy,  that  it  was  obvious  to  their  adversaries 
that  a  decisive  assault  was  imminent.  On  the  21st  of  July 
General  Simpson,  who  had  been  confirmed  in  the  command- 
in-chief  as  successor  to  Lord  Raglan,  reported  to  Lord  Pan- 
mure,  that  his  advanced  trenches  were  within  200  yards  of  the 
Kedan,  and  could  not  be  pushed  farther.  He  at  the  same 
time  said,  that  the  Redan  was  now  much  stronger  than  it  had 
been  on  the  16th  of  June,  and  that  any  direct  attack  upon 
it  must  fail.  A  combined  attack  by  French  and  English  on 
the  Malakoff,  he  added,  was  in  his  opinion  the  only  feasible 


3 H  IMPROVED  STATE   OF  ARMY.  1855 

project,  that  being  the  key  of  the  position,  and  at  the 
same  time  presenting  fewer  obstacles  to  an  attack.  The 
daily  losses  in  the  trenches  were  so  heavy,  that  the  assault 
could  not  be  much  longer  delayed.  All  were  therefore  look 
ing  forward  to  the  moment  when  General  Pelissier  should 
declare  his  readiness  for  the  assault. 

The  information  which  reached  us  as  to  the  condition  of 
the  Eussian  forces  showed,  that  their  supplies  of  food  and 
ammunition  were  beginning  to  fail.  But  we  also  learned, 
that  the  whole  military  resources  of  the  country  were  being 
concentrated  on  the  Crimea,  with  a  view  to  some  supreme 
effort.  Men  without  end,  it  was  said,  were  being  sent 
thither  as  reserves,  and  a  great  blow  would  shortly  be  struck 
at  the  besieging  forces.  That  Prince  Grortschakoff  had  not 
attacked  them  before,  it  was  reported  on  high  authority, 
was  because  he  had  not  hitherto  had  sufficient  men.  Now 
everything  he  could  desire  had  been  placed  at  his  disposal 
for  carrying  out  his  plan  of  bringing  an  overwhelming  force 
against  the  Allies,  and  the  numbers  at  his  command  were  said 
to  be  so  great,  that  it  was  thought  they  must  bear  down  any 
resistance.  Experience  of  former  encounters  had  taught  us 
to  fear  little  from  superior  numbers.  And  while  we  were 
thus  warned  to  anticipate  an  overwhelming  onslaught  by  the 
Eussian  army  of  reserve,  we  were  encouraged  to  regard  the 
reports  with  less  apprehension,  by  knowing  at  what  a  fright 
ful  sacrifice  of  life  the  enemy  was  bringing  up  the  hordes  on 
which  he  relied  so  confidently  to  destroy  us.  The  route 
from  Sebastopol  to  Simpheropol,  it  was  ascertained  upon  the 
authority  of  a  Eussian  eye-witness,  speaking  at  St.  Peters 
burg,  was  already  so  encumbered  with  dead  bodies,  dead 
horses  and  dead  cattle,  that  the  whole  line  was  infected  with 
pestilential  vapours,  was  impassable  for  vehicles,  and  could 
only  be  traversed  on  horseback. 

The  threatened  blow  was  struck  on  the  1 6th  of  August  at 


1855  BATTLE   OF  THE   TSCHERNAJA.  315 

what  is  now  known  as  the  Battle  of  the  Tschernaja.  The 
attack  on  the  position  of  the  Allies  on  that  river  was  planned 
at  St.  Petersburg,  and  it  had  been  looked  forward  to  there  as 
certain  to  result  in  the  raising  of  the  siege.  From  fifty  to 
sixty  thousand  Eussians  were  engaged  in  it.  The  brunt  of 
the  attack  had  to  be  borne  by  the  French,  and  they  threw  it 
back  with  a  firmness  and  vigour  on  which  the  weight  of  the 
Eussian  columns  could  make  no  impression.  The  battle, 
which  had  begun  while  the  mists  of  the  dawn  hung  heavily 
upon  the  valley  of  the  Tschernaja,  had  been  decided  by  9  A.M., 
by  which  time  it  had  become  obvious,  that  the  Eussians  were 
in  full  retreat.  The  French  loss  in  killed  was  comparatively 
small.  The  loss  of  the  Eussians  was  estimated  at  about 
3,000  killed,  and  5,000  wounded.  Four  hundred  prisoners 
were  taken.  On  the  bodies  of  the  dead  were  found  four 
days'  rations,  but  no  water,  so  confident  had  their  leaders 
been  of  securing  their  hold  upon  the  Tschernaja.  '  The  men 
dead  in  the  field,'  General  Bernard  wrote  to  Colonel  Phipps 
(18th  August), '  looked  worn  and  miserable;  the  Grenadiers  of 
the  Guard  were  there,  men  6  feet  4  !  and  well  dressed,  but 
thin  and  worn  also.  The  generality  were  men  ....  badly 
clothed,  and  badly  fed,  many  very  young.'  All  this  told  a 
tale  of  exhaustion,  which  gave  fresh  encouragement  to  the 
Allies.  The  annihilation  of  the  stores  on  the  Sea  of  Azoff 
had  begun  to  tell.  If  the  forces  already  on  the  spot  bore 
such  evident  marks  of  being  badly  fed,  there  was  little  to  be 
apprehended  from  any  further  reinforcements  of  men  which 
Eussia  might  be  able  to  send  to  the  front,  as  they  must 
increase  the  embarrassment  of  the  enemy  from  the  already 
failing  supplies  of  provisions. 

The  brilliant  success  of  the  French  on  the  Tschernaja 
came  most  opportunely  to  stimulate  the  feelings  of  their 
countrymen  at  home  in  favour  of  the  prosecution  of  the  war. 
Some  such  stimulus  was  needed.  The  war  had  appealed  to 


316  ANTICIPATIONS  IN  PARIS  1855 

no  French  national  sentiment,  it  offered  no  palpable  material 
gain,  it  inspired  no  popular  enthusiasm.  It  had  already 
involved  large  sacrifices  in  men  and  money,  and  a  peace, 
which  might  secure  the  balance  of  power  in  Europe,  but  gave 
France  not  an  inch  of  additional  territory,  offered  but  a  sorry 
premium  for  further  drains  on  the  national  resources.  The 
current  talk  in  the  higher  circles  in  Paris  was,  that  France 
was  merely  playing  the  game  of  England,  and  those  in  whom 
the  old  jealousies  of  this  country  still  lingered  saw,  not  with 
out  chagrin,  that  we  were  so  rapidly  redeeming  the  defects 
of  our  system,  which  had  drawn  upon  us  so  much  contemp 
tuous  obloquy  some  months  before,  as  a  nation  whose  fighting 
powers  were  used  up,  that  our  superiority  in  all  the  qualities 
necessary  for  success  in  the  field  was  likely  before  long  to 
become  established  beyond  all  question.  It  was  said  at  this 
time  by  one  of  the  best  informed  politicians  in  France,  that 
the  facts  which  appeared  in  official  reports  and  private  cor 
respondence,  compelled  their  statesmen  to  acknowledge  that 
English  officers  were  superior  to  their  own  in  practical 
ability,  in  military  coup-d'ceil,  in  sagacity  and  foresight. 
'  They  have  better  understood  the  nature  of  the  dangers  to  be 
met,  and  the  means  to  overcome  them.  England,'  it  was 
added,  '  will  come  out  of  this  war  with  a  perfect  military  or 
ganisation,  and  with  a  formidable  army.  She  will  be  in 
debted  for  this  to  the  French  Alliance.  There  is  wisdom 
and  foresight  on  our  part !  We  are  wide  awake  to  this  fact. 
We  know  the  tough  mettle  of  F^nglish  statesmen.  They 
will  find  the  way  to  repair  the  errors  into  which  they  have 
been  led  by  false  systems  of  economy  ;  and  in  proof  of  this, 
we  see  the  House  of  Commons,  despite  the  persevering  inter 
ference  of  the  Opposition,  refusing  the  Government  nothing 
they  ask  for.  The  war,  beyond  all  doubt,  will  augment 
England's  strength  and  influence  both  abroad  and  at  home.' 
Such  being  the  prevalent  tone  of  opinion  in  Paris,  the 


i855  OF   VISIT  BY  QUEEN  AND  PRINCE.  317 

success  of  the  Tschernaja  was  manifestly  well  timed,  both 
for  strengthening  the  Emperor's  hands  in  carrying  on  the 
war  against  the  manifold  influences  which  were  at  work  to 
shake  his  resolution,  and  as  a  prelude  to  the  arrival  in  France 
of  the  English  Queen.  No  English  Sovereign  had  set  foot 
within  Paris  since  Henry  VI.,  and  he  had  come  there  claiming 
to  be  its  king,  and  not,  as  now,  to  knit  more  closely  the  bonds 
of  an  alliance  necessary  to  the  repose  of  Europe.  There  were, 
it  is  true,  Frenchmen  high  in  position  who  predicted,  that  no 
such  reception  would  await  our  Queen  in  Paris  as  had  greeted 
the  Emperor  and  Empress  in  London.  Such  show  of  welcome 
as  might  be  given  would  be  organised,  not  spontaneous.  No 
enthusiasm  would  be  awakened.  The  Legitimists  would 
look  coldly  on  a  visit,  which  would  give  prestige  and 
stability  to  the  Emperor.  The  Orleanists,  embittered  at  the 
cordiality  of  an  alliance  with  one  whom  they  regarded  as  an 
usurper,  an  alliance  more  close,  more  truly  cordial,  than  that 
which  Louis  Philippe  had  affected  to  cement,  would  take  care 
to  mark  their  estrangement  by  holding  aloof  from  every  de 
monstration  of  welcome.  The  mass  of  the  Parisians,  on  the 
other  hand,  were  said  so  have  become  too  much  absorbed  in 
the  pursuit  of  gain  to  set  a  value  on  whatever  dignity  might 
l)e  added  to  their  country  by  the  friendly  visit  of  the  English 
Sovereign ;  while  the  extreme  Democrats  would  show  no 
honour  to  the  guests,  however  illustrious,  of  the  Man  of 
December. 

Such  were  the  predictions  current  in  many  influential 
quarters  as  to  the  probable  failure  of  the  visit  of  the  Queen 
and  Prince  to  France.  How  completely  they  were  falsified 
will  presently  be  shown. 


CHAPTER   LXVL 

EVEN  in  his  busiest  times  the  Prince  seems  generally  to  have 
made  leisure  to  keep  up  his  correspondence  with  Baron 
Stockmar.  But  such  was  the  pressure  upon  him  at  this 
time,  that  he  did  not  write  to  him  for  nearly  a  month, 
although  he  knew  how  anxious  his  old  friend  would  be  for 
tidings  from  himself,  not  merely  about  public  affairs,  but 
about  the  progress  of  the  Royal  children,  four  in  number, 
who  had  been  attacked  by  scarlet  fever.  On  the  4th  of 
August  the  Prince  was  able  to  announce  to  him  that, 
although  the  Princess  Alice,  who  had  caught  the  fever  from 
her  sister,  was  still  a  prisoner  to  her  room,  the  Princess 
Louise  and  the  Princes  Arthur  and  Leopold  were  convales 
cent.  The  two  elder  children  had  escaped  the  infection,  and 
were  to  accompany  the  Queen  and  Prince  to  Paris  on  the 
18th.  The  Prince  adds: 

6 1  often  think  of  your  illustration  of  the  peasant  who 
wants  to  wait  till  the  river  runs  by  before  he  crosses.1  This 
is  what  happens  with  my  wish  to  write  to  you,  and  to  find 
a  quiet  morning  for  doing  so.  Only  yesterday  the  King  of 
Portugal  arrived  with  his  suite,  and  he  establishes  a  claim 
upon  the  day,  which  is  already  heavily  forestalled.  He  lives 
on  board  our  new  yacht,  so  as  to  keep  clear  of  infection  in 
the  house,  and  we  interchange  visits  by  boat.  They  are 
well,  and  Pedro  is  much  and  earnestly  engrossed  with  his 

1  Rusticus  expectat  dum  dcfluat  amnis ;  at  ille 
Labititr  et  labctur  in  omne  volnbilis  avion.  —  Horace,  Epist.  i.  2. 


1855  ARRIVAL  IN  PARIS.  319 

future  great  and  difficult  vocation.  I  counsel  him  to  sepa 
rate  everything  that  is  merely  personal  from  what  is  essential, 
and  to  concern  himself  only  with  the  latter.  All  the  mis 
fortunes  of  Portugal  have  arisen  from  dealing  exclusively 
with  the  former.' 

In  the  same  letter,  written  before  the  Russian  defeat  on 
the  Tschernaja  had  materially  altered  the  aspect  of  affairs 
at  Sebastopol,  he  says  :— 

'  In  the  Crimea  no  progress  is  making,  and  another  winter 
stares  us  in  the  face,'  This  was  the  opinion  of  many  officers 
on  the  spot,  who  were  in  the  best  position  for  forming  a 
judgment.2  Whether  we  were  to  remain  there  as  besiegers 
or  as  masters  of  Sebastopol,  was  a  problem  of  which  they  did 
not  at  this  time  venture  to  forecast  the  solution.  Their 
hopes  began  to  rise  soon  afterwards,  as  symptoms  of  ex 
haustion,  and  of  preparations  for  a  retreat  to  the  south  side 
of  the  harbour,  began  to  become  apparent  in  the  Russian 
defence. 

The  aspect  of  affairs,  as  we  have  seen,  had  brightened 
considerably  before  the  day  appointed  for  the  arrival  in 
Paris  of  the  Queen  and  Prince.  He  seized  his  first  spare 
moment  after  his  arrival  there  to  let  Baron  Stockmar  know, 
that  all  had  gone  off  well  up  to  this  point.  On  the  morning 
of  the  19th  he  writes  to  the  Baron  from  St.  Cloud  : — 

'I  avail  myself  of  the  first  disengaged  moment  to  send 
you  tidings  of  us  from  St.  Cloud.  We  arrived  here  yesterday 
evening  at  half-past  eight,  and  met  with  a  splendid  and 
enthusiastic  reception  in  Paris.  I  leave  description  to  the 
papers,  whose  metier  it  is,  and  only  tell  you  that  we  are  all 
well,  that  we  found  the  Emperor  in  high  spirits,  the  Empress 

2  '  The  dark  prospect  of  another  winter  looms  before  us.  It  must  be  looked 
in  the  face,  but  it  is  a  precious  ugly  thing  to  look  at.' — Letter  from  General 
Codrington  to  Sir  George  Brown,  July  27,  1855,  of  which  there  is  a  copy 
among  the  Prince's  papers. 


320  VISIT  TO   PARIS 

in  expectation  of  an  heir  and  suffering,  the  nation  flattered 
and  friendly.  The  destruction  of  Sweaborg,  the  success  of 
Riga,  and  the  defeat  of  the  Russians  on  the  Tschernaja,  have 
contributed  to  put  people  on  all  sides  into  good  humour. 
Bertie,  Vicky,  Ladies  Ely  and  Churchill,  Misses  Bulteel  and 
Hildyard,  Lords  Clarendon,  Breadalbane,  and  Abercorn, 
Phipps,  Grey,  Biddulph,  Clark,  Gribbs  and  Alfred  Paget,  make 
up  our  party.  To-day  is  Sunday  repose  (!)  and  English 
Church  service.  To-morrow  the  Parisian  campaign  begins.' 

In  recounting  the  leading  features  of  the  visit  to  the 
French  capital,  we*  are  again  enabled  to  avail  ourselves  of 
the  Diary  of  the  Queen,  who  felt  naturally  prompted  to  pre 
serve  a  record  under  her  own  hands  of  an  historical  event  of 
so  much  interest  and  importance.  Starting  from  Osborne 
at  five  on  the  morning  of  the  18th,  the  Royal  yacht,  Victoria 
and  Albert,  which  had  just  been  completed,  reached  Boulogne 
about  half-past  one,  and  advanced  slowly  up  to  the  harbour 
amid  the  cheers  of  the  crowd  upon  the  long  pier,  which  was 
lined  throughout  with  troops.  On  the  quay  stood  the  Em 
peror,  surrounded  by  a  brilliant  retinue,  under  a  broiling 
sun,  while  the  tedious  process  of  warping  the  huge  vessel  to 
the  shore  was  carried  out.  'At  length  the  bridge  was 
adjusted.  The  Emperor  stepped  across,  and  I  met  him 
half-way,  and  embraced  him  twice  ;  after  which  he  led  me 
on  shore  amidst  acclamations,  salutes,  and  every  sound  of 
joy  and  respect.  We  four  [the  Queen,  Prince,  Prince  of 
Wales,  and  Princess  Royal]  entered  a  landau  carriage,  and 
drove  through  the  crowded  and  decorated  streets,  the  Empe 
ror  escorting  us  himself  on  horseback,'  to  the  railway- 
station,  which  was  thronged  with  an  enthusiastic  crowd, 
largely  composed  of  ladies. 

Brief  halts  were  made  at  Abbeville  and  Amiens,  where  the 
same  crowds  and  the  same  eager  welcome  awaited  the  Royal 
visitors.  The  beauty  of  the  country  between  Amiens  and 


1855  BY  THE  QUEEN  AND  PRINCE.  321 

Paris  arrested  the  Queen's  attention  ;  but  by  this  time  '  the 
sun  got  lower,  and  the  Emperor  became  very  anxious  we 
should  reach  Paris.  ...  At  length  we  passed  St.  Leu,  Mont- 
morency — both  charmingly  situated — then  got  a  glimpse  of 
Montmartre,  my  first  sight  of  Paris  ....  and  at  last  we 
passed  the  fortifications  and  Paris  opened  upon  us.  .  .  .  We 
at  length  entered  the  Gare  du  Chemin  de  Fer  de  Strasbourg, 
which  was  lit  up  and  beautifully  decorated,  lined  with  troops, 
and  filled  with  people  ;  Prince  Napoleon,  Marechal  Magnan, 
General  Lowestein  commanding  the  Garde  Nationale.  The 
coup-d'ceil,  as  we  proceeded  to  our  carriage,  was  mag 
nificent.' 

Paris  was  en  fete,  and  what  that  means  in  a  city  so  favour 
able  for  festal  effects,  need  not  be  said.  The  inhabitants 
had  belied  the  anticipations  to  which  we  referred  in  the  last 
chapter,  by  doing  everything  that  taste  and  good  feeling 
could  suggest  to  mark  the  sincerity  of  their  welcome. 
Imagine,  the  Royal  Diary  continues,  this  beautiful  city,  with 
its  broad  streets  and  lofty  houses,  '  decorated  in  the  most 
tasteful  manner  possible,  with  banners,  flags,  arches,  flowers, 
inscriptions,  and  finally  illuminations,  full  of  people,  lined 
with  troops,  National  Guards,  and  troops  of  the  Line  and 
Chasseurs  d'Afrique,  beautifully  kept,  and  most  enthusiastic ! 
And  yet  this  gives  but  a  faint  notion  of  this  triumph,  as  it 
was.  There  were  endless  cries  of  "  Vive  la  Reine  d^  Angle- 
terre  !  "  "  Vive  I'Empereur  !  "  "  Vive  le  Prince  Albert !  " 
The  approaching  twilight  rather  added  to  the  beauty  of  the* 
scene ;  and  it  was  still  quite  light  enough  when  we  passed 
down  the  new  Boulevard  de  Strasbourg  (the  Emperor's  crea 
tion),  and  along  the  Boulevards,  by  the  Porte  St.  Denis,  the 
Madeleine,  the  Place  de  la  Concorde,  and  the  Arc  de  Tri- 
omphe  de  1'Etoile.'  Here  the  light  failed,  as  the  Royal 
cortege  pursued  its  way  through  the  Bois  de  Boulogne  to  St. 
Cloud.  Troops,  with  their  bands  playing  '  God  save  the 

VOL.  III.  Y 


322  ARRIVAL  AT  ST.    CLOUD.  1855 

Queen,'  lined  the  whole  route  from  the  railway  to  the  Palace, 
'  artillery,  cavalry,  Cent-Gardes  (who  are  splendid),  and  last, 
but  not  least,  to  my  great  delight,  at  the  Bridge  of  Boulogne 
near  the  village  and  Palace  of  St.  Cloud,  the  Zouaves, 
splendid  troops  in  splendid  dress,  the  friends  of  my  dear 
Guards. 

'  In  all  this  blaze  of  light  from  lamps  and  torches,  amidst 
the  roar  of  cannon,  and  bands,  and  drums,  and  cheers,  we 
reached  the  Palace.  The  Empress,  with  Princess  Mathilde 
and  the  ladies,  received  us  at  the  door,  and  took  us  up  a 
beautiful  staircase,  lined  with  the  splendid  Cent-Gardes,  who 
are  magnificent  men,  very  like  our  Life  Guards.  .  .  .  We 
went  through  the  rooms  at  once  to  our  own,  which  are  charm 
ing.  ...  I  felt  quite  bewildered,  but  enchanted;  .  .  .  . 
everything  is  so  beautiful ! ' 

What  is  said  by  the  Queen  of  the  beauty  of  the  Palace  is 
interesting  now  that  it  has  been  battered  and  burnt  into 
irretrievable  ruin.  '  The  saloons  are  splendid,  all  en  suite ; 
they,  as  well  as  the  courtyard,  staircase,  &c.,  remind  me  of 
Briihl.  The  ceilings  are  beautifully  painted  and  the  walls 
hung  with  Gobelins.  The  Salle  de  Mars  is  a  very  noble  room 
and  opens  into  the  fine  long  gallery  called  La  Salle  de  Diane., 
in  which  we  dined.  The  room  was  terribly  hot,  for  the  table 
was  covered  with  wax-lights,  which  quite  dazzled  me.  Every 
thing  was  magnificent,  and  all  very  quiet,  and  royal.  .  .  . 
Everybody  most  civil  and  kind.  Marechal  Magnan  told  me 
that  such  enthusiasm  as  we  had  witnessed  had  not  been 
known  in  Paris,  not  even  in  the  time  of  the  Emperor  Napo 
leon's  triumphs ;  and  General  Lowestein  said,  that  all  France 
would  have  come  if  there  had  been  time.  The  National 
Guard  were  particularly  civil  and  friendly.  All  regretted  our 
arriving  so  late. 

4  Sunday,  19th  August. — Awoke  to  admire  our  lovely  room. 
The  whole  suite  was  no  less  charming.'  Some  of  the  rooms 


i855  SUNDAY  AT  ST.    CLOUD.  323 

commanded  a  fine  view  of  Paris,  others  looked  out  on  the 
garden,  '  with  its  fountains  and  beautiful  long  avenues  of 
beech-trees,  its  orange-trees,  and  very  fine  and  brilliant 
flowers.'  After  breakfast  came  a  drive  with  the  Emperor  in 
the  park,  which,  with  its  endless  shady  avenues,  its  beautiful 
foliage,  and  charming  glimpses  of  country,  has  still  happily 
survived  the  ravages  of  the  siege  of  1871  and  the  worse  fury 
of  the  Communists.  '  We  passed  Villeneuve  VEtang,  the 
little  villa  which  the  Emperor  has  bought,  with  the  sur 
rounding  ground  and  park,  and  which  he  tries  to  make  as 
English  and  as  private  as  possible,  longing  to  get  away  from 
etiquette  and  restraint.  .  .  .  The  Emperor  was  most  amiable 
and  kind,  and  talked  of  all  sorts  of  things.  He  is  much 
pleased  at  the  good  news  from  the  Crimea.' 

The  English  service  was  read  in  one  of  the  rooms  of  the 
Palace  by  the  chaplain  of  the  Embassy  ;  and  in  the  after 
noon  the  Queen  and  Prince  drove  with  the  Emperor  and 
Empress  to  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  which  had  recently  been 
transformed  by  the  Emperor  into  the  beautiful  park  which 
it  now  is.  'Albert  is  quite  astonished  at  it,  and  says  the 
improvements  which  have  been  made  in  it  are  wonderful. 
In  the  course  of  the  drive,  hearing  me  express  a  wish  to  know 
where  Neuilly  was,  both  the  Emperor  and  Empress  very 
amiably  proposed  to  take  us  there.  Accordingly  they  did  so, 
going  by  several  pretty  country  houses,  through  the  very 
small  dirty  village  of  Neuilly  into  the  gates,  where  two 
pavilions  remain  all  in  ruins,  with  broken  windows,  grass 
growing  in  the  walks,  altogether  a  most  melancholy  picture 
of  decay.  Albert  remembered  it  all  so  well.  We  returned 
by  the  banks  of  the  Seine,  which  are  very  pretty,  and  remind 
one  of  Eichmond.  ...  A  great  many  people  cheering  every 
where.  .  .  . 

'  A  large  dinner-party.  General  Canrobert,  only  just 
returned  from  the  trenches — "j  'etais  dans  ies  tranchees"  he 

T    2 


324  GENERAL   CANROBERT,  1855 

said,  "  il  y  a  quinze  jours  " — was  the  principal  addition.  He  sat 
next  to  me.  I  was  delighted  with  him,  such  an  honest,  good 
man,  so  sincere  and  friendly,  and  so  fond  of  the  English,  very 
enthusiastic,  talking  with  much  gesticulation.  He  is  short, 
and  wears  his  hair,  which  is  black,  rather  long  behind,  has  a 
red  face  and  rolling  eyes,  moustaches,  and  no  whiskers,  and 
carries  his  head  rather  high.  He  praised  our  troops  im 
mensely,  spoke  of  the  great  difficulty  of  the  undertaking,  the 
sufferings  we  had  all  undergone,  the  mistakes  which  had  been 
made,  and  most  kindly  of  our  generals  and  troops.  I  said  I 
looked  upon  him  as  an  old  acquaintance,  from  having  heard 
so  much  of  him.  He  said,  "  Je  suis  presque  un  sujet  de 
votre  Majeste"  from  being  a  member  of  the  Fishmongers' 
Company.  Speaking  of  poor  Lord  Eagian  he  said,  "  C'etait 
un  noble  gentleman,  quenous  avons  beaucoup  regrette,"  and 
of  the  1 8th  of  June,  "  Cela  a  tue  le  pauvre  milord"  ' 

Her  Majesty  might  truly  speak  of  General  Canrobert  as  an 
old  acquaintance,  for,  like  the  Prince,  not  a  detail  of  the  war 
escaped  her  notice.  Every  despatch  from  the  camp,  every 
weekly  return  made  upon  the  model  suggested  by  the  Prince 
which  reached  the  Government,  were  read  by  them  both,  and 
copies  carefully  preserved.  Plans  showing  every  addition  to 
the  trenches  were  sent  regularly  for  Her  Majesty's  use,  so  that 
the  exact  position  of  affairs  before  Sebastopol  was  as  well 
known  in  Her  Majesty's  working  room,  as  it  was  at  the  head 
quarters  of  the  Commander-in-chief.  General  Canrobert  was, 
no  doubt,  surprised  at  the  minute  accuracy  of  Her  Majesty's 
information.  He  told  Lord  Clarendon  '  that  he  had  talked 
to  many  people,  military  and  civil,  but  to  none  so  thoroughly 
well  informed  about  the  Crimea,  the  siege,  and  the  armies,  as 
Her  Majesty.'3 

'  Monday,  20th  August. — A  lovely  morning,  pleasant  air, 

3  Our  authority  for  this  statement  is  a  letter  of  Lord  Clarendon's,  dated 
31st  August,  1855. 


1855  VISIT   TO   THE  EXPOSITION.  325 

with  a  bright  sun,  and  the  delicious  fountains  playing. 
Further  satisfactory  accounts  from  the  Crimea.  .  .  .  The 
Emperor  came  to  fetch  us  to  breakfast  as  before.  The  coffee 
quite  excellent,  and  all  the  cookery  very  plain  and  very  good. 
For  breakfast  and  luncheon  we  have  a  small  round  table,  as  at 
home.  .  .  .  The  servants  very  quiet  and  attentive.  At  a 
quarter  before  ten  we  started  for  Paris  with  all  our  suite. 
The  Emperor  has  pretty  barouches,  rather  smaller  than  ours, 
and  bay  horses  harnessed  just  like  ours;  the  livery  dark 
.green,  black  and  gold,  with  red  and  gold  waistcoats.' 

The  first  place  visited  was  the  Exposition  des  Beaux 
Arts,  which  adjoined  the  Palais  d' Industrie  in  the  Champs 
Elysees.  The  unexampled  collection  of  paintings  illustrative 
of  all  the  modern  schools,  which  must  always  be  remembered 
with  vivid  delight  by  all  who  had  the  privilege  of  seeing  it, 
was  gone  through.  '  The  enthusiasm  was  very  great,  both  at 
the  Exposition,  and  in  the  densely  crowded  streets,  and  the 
cries  of  "  Vive  I'Empereur  /"  "  Vive  la  Reine  d'Angleterre  /" 
were  very  constant  and  gratifying.  I  was  of  course  always  at 
the  Emperor's  arm.' 

From  the  Exposition  the  Koyal  party  went  to  the  Elysee, 
where,  after  luncheon,  the  whole  corps  diplomatique,  with 
their  wives,  were  presented  to  the  Queen,  the  Emperor  mean 
while  himself  driving  the  Prince  of  Wales  in  a  curricle 
through  Paris,  '  not  the  least  interesting  incident,'  the  Queen 
writes,  'in  this  most  eventful,  interesting,  and  delightful 
visit.'  Later  in  the  day,  the  Emperor  accompanied  his 
guests  in  an  open  carriage  to  the  Sainte  Chapelle,  and  to  the 
Palais  de  Justice,  which  gave  Her  Majesty  an  opportunity  of 
seeing  by  the  way  some  of  the  most  striking  features  of  the 
city.  '  In  crossing  the  Pont  au  Change,  you  see  the  Con- 
ciergerie,  and  the  Emperor,  pointing  to  it,  said,  "  Voila  OIL 
fetais  en  prison  !  "  Strange  contrast  to  be  driving  with  us 
as  Emperor  through  the  streets  of  the  city  in  triumph ! ' 


326  EVENING  AT  ST.   CLOUD.  1855 

Notre  Dame  and  the  Hotel  de  Ville  were  next  visited,  and 
after  making  the  circuit  of  the  Boulevards,  and  traversing  the 
Champs  Elysees,  and  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  St.  Cloud  was 
reached  about  six  o'clock.  '  No  one,'  says  the  Queen,  after 
recording  the  proceedings  of  the  day,  '  can  be  kinder  or  more 
agreeable  than  is  the  Emperor,  and  so  quiet,  which  is  a 
comfort  on  all,  but  particularly  on  such  occasions.' 

6  The  view  from  our  rooms  and  balcony,  of  Paris,  lit  up  by 
the  evening  light,  with  the  Arc  de  Triomphe  rising  con 
spicuously  in  the  distance,  had  a  marvellous  effect.  I  sat 
drawing  on  the  balcony,  and  took  a  little  sketch  of  the  very 
pretty  avenue  which  leads  clown  into  the  town.  Found  after 
wards  Canrobert  with  Albert,  who  told  us  much  that  was 
very  interesting,  in  fact  quite  touching,  about  his  own  posi 
tion,  and  his  feeling  towards  Lord  Raglan.  I  gave  him  the 
Order  of  the  Bath,  and  with  real  pleasure.' 

In  the  evening  there  was  a  theatrical  performance  in  the 
Palace  of  the  Demoiselles  de  St.  Cyr,  with  Regnier  and 
Mdlle.  Brohan  in  the  principal  parts,  '  the  ensemble  perfect.' 
'  After  the  play,'  says  our  record,  '  we  returned  to  the  rooms 
upstairs,  and  stopped  in  the  Salle  de  Mars,  where  every 
body  passed  by,  the  Empress  presenting  each  in  passing. 
We  afterwards  went  for  a  moment  into  the  Salle  de  Diane, 
where  the  refreshments  were,  and  thence  to  our  rooms,  to 
which  the  Emperor  and  Empress,  preceded  by  their  gentle 
men,  always  take  us.  The  night  was  delightfully  warm,  and 
we  stepped  out  on  the  balcony  to  watch  the  carriages  going 
away. 

6  Tuesday,  2lst  August. — At  half-past  ten  we  started  for 
Versailles  in  many  carriages,  en  poste.  We  passed  by  Ville 
d'Avray,  a  pretty  village,  with  many  villas  about  it.  It  was 
decorated  with  wreaths,  &c.,  the  people  out  everywhere  and 
very  friendly.  At  nearly  every  village  there  were  troops,  or 
National  Guards,  and  always  some  gendarmes  in  their 


i855  VISIT   TO    THE    TRIANON.  327 

handsome  dress.  We  reached  Versailles  in  rather  more  than 
half  an  hour.'  After  visiting  the  vast  series  of  galleries  and 
apartments,  '  which  brought  to  mind  so  much  of  the  history 
of  France,  with  its  many  strange  and  dark  events.  ...  we 
drove  about  the  curious  old-fashioned  gardens,  to  see  the 
waterworks,  which  are  wonderful  and  endless.  The  effect  of 
the  innumerable  jets-d'eau,  with  the  bright  sunshine,  the 
bands  (of  which  there  were  four)  playing,  the  multitude  of 
people,  and  the  numerous  equipages  going  in  and  out  of  the 
small  avenues,  and  winding  along  the  bassins,  was  very 
fine. 

4  From  here  we  drove  to  the  Grand  Trianon,  and  the 
small  palace,  with  rooms  on  the  ground-floor  where  Marie 
Antoinette  used  to  live,  and  from  the  windows  of  which  the 
view  is  beautiful.  The  Emperor  showed  me  the  room  and 
bed  (it  had  belonged  to  Napoleon)  which  had  been  prepared 
for  us  by  poor  Louis  Philippe,  when  he  expected  us  to  visit 
Paris,  and  the  sedan-chair  of  Madame  de  Maintenon,  by  the 
side  of  which,  according  to  St.  Simon,  Louis  XIV.  used  so 
often  to  walk  ;  also  the  pretty  little  chapel  (excessively  small) 
where  poor  Marie  [Louis  Philippe's  daughter]  was  married  to 
Alexander  of  Wiirtemberg  in  1838.' 

The  Petit  Trianon  was  next  visited,  and  all  its  associations 
with  Marie  Antoinette  were  recalled.  Here  the  Empress 
joined  the  party  for  luncheon  in  one  of  the  largest  of  the 
many  cottages.  'Everywhere  everything  is  ready;  rooms 
prepared  for  us,  and  all  just  as  if  one  were  living  there.  The 
furniture  (which  I  believe  comes  from  the  Garde  Meuble)  was 
frequently  of  that  period  of  the  Empire  qui  a  un  cachet  tout 
particulier,  and  of  which  Mama  had  much  at  Kensington,  so 
that  I  recognised  in  many  places  old  acquaintances  in 
bureaux,  mirrors,  tables,  presses,  &c.,  also  counterparts  to 
things  which  we  have  at  Windsor,  in  china,  and  in  furniture 
of  the  time  of  Louis  XV.  and  Louis  XVI.  .  .  After 


328  STATE    VISIT   TO   GRAND   OPERA.  1855 

luncheon  we  sat  for  some  time  under  the  trees  listening  to 
the  fine  band  of  the  Guides,  and  I  made  some  sketches.  The 
sun  shining  through  the  trees  on  the  band,  the  ladies  and 
gentlemen,  the  escort  (Carabiniers  of  the  Guard)  and  the 
postilions  and  horses,  with  the  music,  and  the  occasional 
tinkling  of  the  bells  of  the  horses  of  the  chaises  de  poste, 
made  the  prettiest  effect  possible.  At  a  little  after  three  we 
started  again  for  St.  Cloud,  I  driving  in  a  phaeton  with  the 
Empress.  .  .  .  There  were  crowds  all  along  the  road  ;  the 
sun  was  intensely  hot,  and  there  was  a  great  deal  of  dust.  .  .  . 
The  view  of  Paris  from  our  windows  this  evening  was  again 
beautiful.  The  air  is  so  light  and  clear,  and  so  free  from  our 
baneful  coal  smoke,  that  objects,  even  at  the  greatest 
distance,  are  seen  quite  distinctly.' 

After  dining  quietly  alone  with  the  Emperor,  hosts  and 
guests  started  at  a  quarter  to  seven  for  Paris  on  a  state  visit 
to  the  Grand  Opera  in  the  Rue  Lepelletier.  '  Paris  was 
brilliantly  illuminated,  and  with  the  greatest  taste.  Under 
one  of  the  triumphal  arches  was  a  lustre  of  lamps,  which  was 
extremely  handsome.  The  streets  were  full  of  people  cheer 
ing.  The  Garde  de  Paris  lined  the  staircase  of  the  Opera 
House,  and  at  the  top  of  the  staircase  in  the  vestibule  were 
my  favourite  Cent-Gardes.  The  box  was  arranged  in  the 
centre  of  the  House  just  as  when  we  go  to  the  Opera  in 
state,  two  Cent-Gardes  standing  where  the  yeomen  stand, 
on  either  side  of  the  box,  and  two  upon  the  stage.  The 
theatre  is  handsome,  and  was  full  of  people,  and  the  reception 
very  hearty.  The  performance  consisted  of  selections  of  airs, 
duets,  &c.,  from  different  operas,  sung  in  costume,  pronounced 
to  be  "  not  a  very  happy  arrangement,"  and  a  long,  too  long 
ballet,  in  three  acts,  with  Rosati  as  the  principal  dancer. 
The  scene  then  changed,  and  a  view  of  Windsor,  with  the 
Emperor's  arrival  there,  appeared,  and  "  God  save  the  Queen  " 
was  sung  splendidly,  and  most  enthusiastically  cheered ;  there 


1855  SECOND    VISIT  TO  EXPOSITION.  329 

could  not  have  been  more  enthusiasm  in  England.  We  re 
turned  home  at  half-past  twelve.  .  .  .  The  Emperor  was  very 
cheerful,  and  repeated  with  Albert  all  sorts  of  old  German 
songs,  and  Albert  repeated  some  to  him.  He  is  very  fond  of 
Germany,  and  his  old  recollections  of  it,  and  there  is  much 
that  is  German,  and  very  little — in  fact,  nothing — markedly 
French  in  his  character.' 

4  Wednesday ',  2'2nd  August. — Another  splendid  day  !  Most 
truly  do  the  heavens  favour  and  smile  upon  this  happy 
Alliance,  for  when  the  Emperor  was  in  England  in  April 
the  weather  was  beautiful.  Despatches  (telegraphic)  from 
General  Simpson,  saying  that  they  had  begun  a  vertical  fire, 
which  was  taking  good  effect.  The  Emperor  is  full  of 
anxiety  and  regret  about  the  campaign.  Ten  thousand 
shells  have  been  thrown  into  the  town  within  the  last  few 
days,  and  they  are  in  want  of  more  ! ' 

The  early  part  of  the  day  was  devoted  to  a  visit  to  the  Expo- 
sition,\)u.t  only  that  part  of  it  was  examined  which  occupied  the 
ground-floor.  To  accomplish  so  much,  where  the  objects  of  in 
terest  were  so  diversified  and  so  numerous,  was  a  task  involv 
ing  no  ordinary  fatigue.  '  England  and  the  Colonies,'  it  is 
noted,  '  make  a  very  fine  show,  and  our  china  pleases  very 
much.'  This,  indeed,  more  than  any  other  of  our  manufac 
tures,  marked  the  strides  we  had  made  since  the  French  por 
celain  and  faience  in  the  Great  Exhibition  of  1851  had  shown 
us  what  could  be  done  in  this  direction.  In  the  application 
of  the  potter's  art  to  domestic  uses,  we  were  admitted  to  have 
established  a  supremacy,  which  has  not  since  been  shaken. 
'  The  Emperor,'  continues  our  record,  '  gave  Albert  a  spendid 
vase  of  Sevres  manufacture,  representing  the  Exhibition  of 
1851,  which  he  said  was  particularly  intended  for  Albert,  as 
to  him  that  Exhibition  was  due.  Albert  was  much  pleased, 
for  it  is  a  ckef-d'ceuvre  in  every  sense  of  the  word.  There 
are  numbers  of  beautiful  things  in  the  Exhibition  of  all 


330  AT  THE   TU1LERIES.  1855 

kinds — many  which  I  recognise  from  the  London  and  Dublin 
Exhibitions.' 

From  the  Exposition  the  Emperor  drove  with  his  guests 
to  the  Tuileries,  now  like  St.  Cloud  charred  and  in  ruins. 
'  The  Emperor  took  us  into  his  apartments — up  a  short  flight 
of  steps — which  consist  of  a  suite  of  rooms,  six  in  number, 
opening  one  into  the  other  ....  In  his  bedroom  are  busts 
of  his  father  and  uncle,  and  an  old  glass  case,  which  he  had 
with  him  in  England,  containing  relics  of  all  sorts,  that  are 
peculiarly  valuable  to  him.  In  some  of  the  other  rooms  are 
portraits  of  Napoleon,  Josephine,  his  own  mother  with  his 
elder  brother,  and  one  of  her  with  his  brother  and  himself  as 
little  children.  These  were  in  the  room,  in  which  we  lunched, 
which  is  used  as  a  sitting-room.  There  is  also  here  the 
cabinet  on  which  Louis  Philippe  signed  that  fatal  abdication. 
The  Emperor  took  us  up  by  a  small  private  staircase  to 
the  Empress's  rooms,  and  thence  into  a  room  where  I 
received  the  Prefet  and  the  Municipality,  who  came  to  in 
vite  us  to  the  ball  at  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  and  wished  to  read 
an  address,  which  the  Emperor  stopped.  I  answered  that  I 
would  go  to  the  ball  with  pleasure,  and  that  I  had  been 
deeply  moved  by  the  reception  which  I  had  met  with  in 
France,  which  I  should  never  forget.  The  Prefet  then  asked 
whether  they  might  call  the  new  street  leading  to  the  Hotel 
de  Ville  after  me,  on  which  I  said — "  Je  serai  bien  flattee 
de  cela — "  then  turning  towards  the  Emperor, "  si  PEmpereur 
le  permet"  on  which  he  cordially  gave  his  consent.  I  then 
observed  upon  the  beauty  of  the  city,  and  all  that  the  Em 
peror  had  done  for  it.'  Some  hours  were  spent  in  examining 
the  splendid  state  rooms  of  the  Palace.  Then  after  a  visit 
to  the  British  Embassy,  the  Queen  and  Prince  went  to  the 
Elysee,  from  which  they  started  on  a  drive  through  Paris 
incognito,  6  with  considerable  tribulation.  The  Emperor  was 
much  amused  at  our  project,  and  directed  where  we  were  to 


1855  DRIVE   THROUGH  PARIS.  331 

go.  We  got  into  a  remise;  I  and  Miss  Bulteel,  having 
put  on  common  bonnets,  I  with  a  black  veil  down,  and  a 
black  mantilla.  We  sat  together,  while  Albert,  and  Vicky, 
(who  had  also  a  bonnet  and  mantilla  which  we  sent  for  in  a 
hurry,)  sat  backwards.  In  going  through  the  gates,  the 
curious  crowd  looked  very  hard  into  the  carriage,  which 
stopped  for  a  moment,  and  we  felt  very  foolish.  However, 
we  got  away,  and  by  help  of  my  veil  I  was  able  to  look  out, 
and  we  took  a  charming  long  drive  by  the  Rue  de  Rivoli, 
Rue  de  Castiglione,  Place  Vendome,  Rue  de  la  Paix,  all 
along  the  Boulevards  des  Capucines,  des  Italiens,  Montmartre, 
Poissonniere,  Bonne-Xotivelle,  St.  Denis,  St.  Martin,  du 
Temple,  des  Filles-du-Calvaire  and  Beaumarchais,  then  by 
the  Place  de  la  Bastille  (where  stands  the  Colonne  de  Juillet), 
the  Boulevard  Bourdon,  Place  Mazas,  over  the  Pont  d'Auster- 
litz,  where  we  had  a  beautiful  view  up  and  down  the  river, 
and  along  the  Quais,  everything  there  looking  so  light,  and 
white,  and  bright,  with  great  numbers  of  people  and  soldiers 
in  bright  colours,  marchands  de  coco,  &c.,  people  sitting  and 
drinking  before  the  houses,  all  so  foreign  and  southern-look 
ing  to  my  eyes,  and  so  gay.  We  then  drove  along  the  Place 
Walhubert,  to  the  Jardin  des  Plantes,  then  by  the  Marche- 
aux-Fleurs  (very  pretty  along  the  Quai),  Halle-aux-Vins  (a 
number  of  curious  little  houses  in  a  sort  of  garden),  Quai  de 
la  Tournelle,  Quai  Montebello,  Quai  St.  Michel,  then  across 
the  Pont  au  Change,  opposite  the  old  Tower  of  St.vTacques, 
and  by  the  Quai  de  la  Megisserie,  Quai  de  1'Ecole,  Quai 
du  Louvre,  back  to  the  Tuileries  safely,  and  without  being 
known,  at  twenty  minutes  to  six.  We  found  the  Emperor 
in  the  drawing-room  below  stairs.  We  changed  our  bonnets, 
and  immediately  re-entered  the  open  carriages  to  return  to 
St.  Cloud,  where  we  arrived  at  near  seven.' 

A  great  dinner  of  eighty  covers  took  place  the  same  even 
ing.     '  At  dinner  the  Emperor  came  to  speak  of  M.  Drouyn 


332  CONVERSATION   WITH  EMPEROR.  1855 

de  Lhuys,  and  of  the  strange  part  he  had  acted  at  Vienna,  of 
his  having  been  at  first  entirely  for  the  war  and  the  alliance, 
and  then  afterwards  not  so — but  having  even  insinuated,  that 
France  had  not  disliked  to  see  Louis  Philippe  fall,  on  account 
of  his  alliance  with  England.  "  Je  lui  ai  repondu"  the 
Emperor  continued,  "  Louis  Philippe  n'est  pas  tombe  a  cause 
de  son  alliance  avec  VAngleterre,  mais  parce  qu'il  rietait 
pas  sincere  avec  I'Angleterre."  I  replied,  that  I  could  not 
sufficiently  express  our  appreciation  of  his  great  franchise ; 
that,  if  there  was  anything  to  complain  of,  or  which  he  felt 
annoyed  at,  he  should  only  speak  out,  and  tell  it  to  us,  for 
that  by  doing  so  all  misunderstandings  and  complications 
would  be  avoided.  He  said  he  only  cared  "pour  les  grandee 
choses  ; " — that  he  would  not  allow  at  the  different  courts  a 
French  party  to  be  kept  up  against  the  English  ;  but  that 
he  had  great  difficulty  in  getting  this  old  and  bad  habit 
broken  through  ;  that  with  the  war  he  had  had  great  diffi 
culty  in  making  people  in  France  understand,  that  it  was 
prosecuted  for  the  interest  of  France,  and  not  to  please 
England.  He  was,  therefore,  peculiarly  pleased  and  gra 
tified  at  the  demonstrations  of  enthusiasm  and  joy  amongst 
all  classes  on  our  arrival,  as  he  could  not  have  made  them 
show  this.' 

A  performance,  in  the  theatre  of  the  Palace,  of  the  little 
play  of  '  Un  Fits  de  Famille,  with  Bressant  in  the  chief 
character,  wound  up  this  busy  day. 

4  Thursday,  23rd  August. —  ....  Albert  left  directly  after 
breakfast  for  Paris  to  see  the  Exposition.  I  walked  a  little 
about  the  garden  close  to  the  house,  with  Vicky  alone,  and 
saw  the  Emperor  walking  up  one  of  the  nearest  avenues  with 
Lord  Clarendon.  We  walked  down  the  other  side  of  the 
house  not  far  from  the  gate,  where  the  Zouaves  were  doing 
duty,  and  I  sketched  them  at  a  distance  :  their  dress  is  charm 
ing.'  Early  in  the  afternoon  a  visit  was  paid  to  the  Louvre, 


1855  DINNER  AT  THE   TUILERIES.  333 

and  a  flying  glance  taken  at  its  multifarious  treasures  of  art. 
Three  hours  and  a  half  were  all  that  could  be  spared  for  what 
it  was  felt  might  well  have  occupied  many  hours  of  every 
day  for  many  weeks.  To  add  to  the  fatigue,  the  heat  was 
tropical,  and  at  the  doors  of  the  Sculpture  Gallery,  as  many  a 
visitor  there  in  summer  has  had  occasion  to  notice, '  the  heat 
rushed  in  as  from  a  furnace.'  With  the  prospect  of  the  ball 
at  the  Hotel  de  Ville  the  same  evening,  the  Queen  was  com 
pelled  to  put  a  restraint  on  her  wish  to  see  more  of  the 
treasures  of  art  everywhere  around  her. 

'We  got  back  to  our  rooms  at  seven.  Rested  a  little. 
The  band  of  the  Guides  was  playing  in  the  garden  ;  and  I 
afterwards  sat  writing  in  the  Empress's  little  sitting-room. 
The  band  made  me  feel  wehmuthig  and  melancholy.  All  so 
gay,  the  people  cheering  the  Emperor  as  he  walked  up  and 
down  in  the  little  garden  ;  and  yet  how  recently  has  blood 
flowed,  a  whole  dynasty  been  swept  away,  and  how  uncertain 
is  everything  still !  All  is  so  beautiful  here,  all  seems  now  so 
prosperous,  the  Emperor  seems  so  fit  for  his  place,  and  yet 
how  little  security  one  feels  for  the  future  !  These  reflec 
tions  crowded  on  my  mind,  full  as  it  was  of  joy  and 
gratitude  for  all  I  saw,  for  all  the  kindness  I  had  received ! 

'  We  had  a  nice  quite  vertrauliches  (cosy)  little  dinner 
with  the  Emperor.  (The  children  went  home  to  St.  Cloud 
at  seven,  and  were  to  go  a  little  to  the  Empress  in  the 
evening.)  We  talked  most  cheerfully  together,  and  he  was 
in  high  spirits.  We  laughed  much  at  a  fine  old-fashioned 
Imperial  cafetiere,  which  would  not  let  out  the  coffee  in  spite 
of  all  the  attempts  of  the  page  to  make  it  do  so.  We  stood, 
— and  I  thought  at  the  time  how  very  extraordinary  it  was, 
and  how  much  had  happened  in  these  very  Tuileries, — with 
the  Emperor,  all  three  looking  out  of  the  window,  which 
opened  on  the  garden,  the  sound  of  music,  of  carriages, 
and  people  being  heard  in  the  distance,  talking  of  past 


334  AT  THE   TUILERIES.  1855 

times.  The  Emperor  said  he  knew  Madame  Campan, 
who  had  been  one  of  the  dressers  of  Marie  Antoinette,  and 
had  brought  up  his  mother,  and  though  he  could  not 
recollect  what  she  had  related  in  person,  he  had  studied  her 
Memoirs.  In  these,  he  said,  she  told  how  the  poor  Queen, 
having  been  summoned  to  appear  [before  the  National  As 
sembly],  had  to  walk  through  Paris  on  foot,  that  she  had 
herself  lived  in  constant  dread  of  what  would  happen,  and 
what  a  hair-breadth  escape  she  had  had,  when  the  mob  as 
cended  the  stairs,  killed  the  Heyduc  in  attendance,  who  was 
in  bed,  and  were  advancing  to  her,  when  one  of  them  called 
out  Respect  aux  femmes!  to  which  the  ruffian,  who  was 
about  to  kill  her,  replied  Heim  !  and  put  up  his  sword.  The 
Emperor  added,  that  Madame  Campan  said  she  never  could 
forget  this  Heim,  and  still  heard  it  in  her  ears,  for  with  it 
was  linked  the  saving  of  her  life.' 4 

The  streets  between  the  Tuileries  were  brilliantly  illu 
minated.  The  building  itself  was  a  blaze  of  light,  and  the 

4  It  may  be  interesting  to  compare  the  Emperor's  recollections  with  Madame 
Campan's  narrative : — 

The  King  and  his  family  had  gone  to  the  Assemblee  Nationale.  '  Nous* 
(who  remained  in  the  Tuileries)  '  times  defiler  la  famille  royale  entre  deur  haies 
formees  par  les  grenadiers  Suisscs  et  ceux  des  bataillons  des  Petits-Peres  et  des 
F'dles  Saint- Thomas.  Us  etaient  si  presses  par  la  foulc  que,  pendant  ce  court 
trajet,  la  reine  fut  volee  de  sa  montre  et  de  sa  bourse.  ...  Je  laisse  a  I'histoire 
tons  les  details  de  cette  journee,  trop  memorable,  me  bornant  a  rctraccr  quelques- 
unes  des  scenes  affreuses  de  I'interieur  dit  palais  des  Tuileries,  apres  que  le  roi 
lent  quitted  She  then  describes  the  rush  of  the  mob,  the  attack  on  the  Swiss 
guards,  and  the  massacres  that  took  place.  '  Nous  allions  toutes  perir,  quand 
un  homnie  a  longue  barbe  arriva  en  criant  de  la  part  de  Petion,  "  Faites  grace  aux 
femmes :  ne  deshonorez  pas  la  nation" '  She  went  to  look  for  her  sister,  and 
reached  a  room  where  the  mob,  rushing  in,  killed  the  '  Heiduque '  in  attend 
ance  in  the  Queen's  apartments.  'Les  assassins  quit  tent  V Heiduque  pour  vcnir 
a  mot.  Le  peu  de  largeur  de  Vescalier  genait  les  assassins :  mais  favais  deja 
senti  une  main  terrible  senfoncer  dans  mon  dos,  pour  me  saisir  par  mes  vetc- 
mens,  lorsqu'on  cria  du  bas  de  Vescalier  :  "  Que  fait cs-vous  la-haut  1 "  L' horrible 
Marseillais,  qui  allait  me  massacrcr,  repondit  un  HEIM,  dont  le  son  ne  sortira 
jamais  dc  ma  memoire.  L'autre  voix  repondit  ces  seuh  mots  :  "On  ne  tue  pas 
les  femmes."  J'etais  a  genoux,  mon  bourrcau  me  lacha  et  me  dit,  "  Leve-toi, 
coquine,  la  nation  te  fait  grace" ' — Memoir es  de  la  Vie  de  Marie  Antoinette. 
London,  1823.  Vol.  ii.  p.  237. 


1 855  BALL  AT  THE  HOTEL  DE    VILLE.  335 

whole  arrangements  for  the  ball  on  a  scale  of  the  utmost 
splendour,  yet  '  all  in  the  very  best  taste.' 

'  The  entrance,'  Her  Majesty  writes,  '  decorated  with  flags 
and  flowers,  and  emblems,  with  fountains  under  the  staircase, 
and  two  statues  representing  England  and  France,  was  most 
beautiful,  and,  as  the  Emperor  observed  to  me,  "faisait  Veffet 
des  Mille  et  une  Nuits?  .  .  .  We  went  into  a  very  fine  long 
salon,  where  there  was  a  haut-pas  with  chairs.  The 
Empress  and  I  sat  in  the  middle,  the  Emperor  to  my  right, 
Albert  to  my  left,  with  Prince  Napoleon  next  to  him,  and 
Princesse  Mathilde  next  the  Emperor.  One  quadrille  of 
only  four  couple  was  danced,  the  Emperor  and  I,  with  Albert 
and  Princesse  Mathilde,  opposite  Prince  Napoleon  and 
Madame  Haussmann,  Prince  Adalbert  and  Lady  Cowley. 
After  this,  one  valse  was  danced.  Some  Arabs  from  Algeria, 
fine-looking  and  very  picturesque  men,  in  long  white 
burnouses,  came  and  kissed  the  Emperor's  hand.  Several 
kissed  my  hand.  One  in  particular  (a  Cadi,  a  chieftain,  and 
a  priest),  all  in  white  from  head  to  foot,  was  very  handsome 
and  imposing.'  The  tour  of  the  magnificent  rooms,  all 
doomed  to  be  '  charred  and  levelled  with  the  common  dust ' 
by  the  fury  of  the  Commune  in  1871,  was  then  made.  '  We 
stopped  for  two  or  three  minutes  in  the  Salle  du  Trone, 
where  Robespierre  was  wounded,  Louis  Philippe  proclaimed, 
and  from  the  windows  of  which  Lamartine  spoke  for  so  many 
hours  in  1848  !  The  Emperor  said  :  "  Cette  occasion  effacera 
les  tristes  souvenirs." '  On  entering  the  carriage  to  leave,  the 
Prince  insisted  on  the  Emperor  sitting  next  to  the  Queen, 
which  he  had  refused  to  do  in  going.  '  However,  that  was 
the  last  time,  for,  ever  after,  when  the  Empress  and  Vicky 
were  not  there,  he  always  made  Albert  sit  forward.  We 
went  to  the  Tuileries.  I  took  off  my  diadem,'  in  which  was 
the  Koh-i-noor,  '  which  Lady  Ely  carried  back.  We  changed 
carriages  and  were  at  St.  Cloud  by  half-past  twelve.' 

Friday,   2£th  August. — Another   visit  was   paid  to   the 


336  REVIEW  AT  THE   CHAMP  DE  MARS.  1855 

Exposition,  where  the  Prince  devoted  himself  to  the  Agri 
cultural  section,  while  the  Queen  went  through  the  galleries 
which  had  not  been  visited  on  the  previous  visit.  A  great 
review  of  the  troops  in  the  Champ  de  Mars  was  appointed 
for  the  afternoon.  'At  half-past  four,'  Her  Majesty  writes, 
c  we  got  into  the  carriages  [at  the  Tuileries].  The  Empress 
and  the  two  children — Bertie  in  his  full  Highland  dress — 
were  in  the  carriage  with  me.  The  Emperor,  Albert,  Prince 
Adalbert,  Prince  Napoleon,  and  a  most  brilliant  suite,  were 
all  on  horseback.  The  Emperor  rode  on  my  side,  and  Albert 
on  the  Empress's.  There  were  immense  and  most  enthu 
siastic  crowds.  We  proceeded  by  that  beautiful  Place  de  la 
Concorde,  over  the  Pont  de  Jena  to  the  Champ  de  Mars. 
The  coup-d'ceil  there  was  truly  magnificent — from  30,000 
to  40,000  men,  several  rows  deep,  each  regiment  with  its 
good,  powerful  band,  and  their  fine  commanding  tambour- 
majors,  their  stalwart  bearded  sapeurs  (those  of  the  Volti- 
geurs  de  la  garde  have  yellow  tabliers),  and  the  very  pictu 
resque  and  smartly  dressed  cantinieres,  all  cheering,  and  the 
bands  playing  "  God  save  the  Queen  !  "  The  cortege  had 
become  immense  as  we  drove  down  the  lines  (only  in  the 
middle,  as  it  would  have  taken  too  much  time  otherwise), 
having  been  increased  by  the  Marechaux-Generaux  (Can- 
robert  included),  and  the  picturesque  Arabs.  We  first  passed 
down  the  infantry,  then  the  cavalry,  which  are  beautiful,  and 
then  the  artillery.  This  over,  we  drove  into  the  Ecole  Mili- 
taire,  the  Emperor  alone  dismounting,  and  handing  me 
upstairs  to  the  large  balcony,  in  front  of  which  the  Emperor, 
Albert,  and  the  rest,  took  their  station.  There  we  found 
Princess  Mathilde,  and  sat  down.  Then  the  troops  began  to 
deftler  in  quick  time,  which  took  three  quarters  of  an  hour ; 
a  beautiful  spectacle,  such  fine  troops  !  .  .  .  .  The  clothes  of 
all  the  men  are  infinitely  better  made  and  cut  than  those  of 
our  soldiers,  which  provokes  me  much.  The  drums,  too — 


1 855  VISIT  TO  NAPOLEON'S   TOMB.  337 

brass  ones — are  much  finer.  It  was  a  magnificent  sight. 
Albert  regretted,  and  so  did  I,  that  I  was  not  on  horseback. 
This  over  (it  had  been  dropping  rain  all  the  time),  I  took 
leave  of  the  Empress.  The  Emperor  came  to  fetch  me,  and 
I  told  him  how  delighted  I  had  been  to  see  these  splendid 
troops,  "qui  etaient  les  camarades  de  ces  braves  troupes 
qui  se  battaient  avec  les  miennes"  and  that  I  had  a  real 
affection  for  them.  The  Emperor  replied  he  hoped  that 
this  happy  unity  would  ever  continue,  and  that  I  should  be 
able  to  look  at  them  as  if  they  were  my  own.  .  .  . 

4  We  drove  straight  to  the  Hotel  des  Invalides,  under  the 
dome  of  which  Napoleon  lies,  late  as  it  was,  because  we  were 
most  anxious  not  to  miss  this,  perhaps  the  most  important, 
act  of  all  in  this  very  interesting  and  eventful  time.  It  was 
nearly  seven  when  we  arrived.  All  the  Invalides, — chiefly 
of  the  former,  but  some  of  the  present,  war, — were  drawn  up 
on  either  side  of  the  court  into  which  we  drove.  It  seems 
we  had  not  been  expected,  there  having  been  some  mistake 
on  account  of  the  change  of  hour  for  the  review,  which  was 
to  have  been  in  the  morning,  but,  in  consequence  of  the 
fearful  heat,  had  been  put  off  by  the  Emperor  to  five  o'clock. 
.  .  .  The  Governor,  Count  d'Ornano,  was  terribly  put  out  at 
not  having  been  prevenu.  However,  it  all  did  very  well. 
There  were  four  torches  which  lit  us  along,  and  added  to  the 
solemnity  of  the  scene,  which  was  striking  in  every  way. 
The  Church  is  .fine  and  lofty.  We  went  to  look  from  above 
into  the  open  vault,  the  effect  of  which  the  Emperor  does 
not  like,  as  he  says  it  looks  like  u  un  grand  bassin"  "  On 
arrive"  he  said,  "  et  on  se  demande  qui  est  dans  le  tombeau 
de  VEmpereur ;  on  s'attend  a  voir  de  I'eau  id."  The  work 
and  interior  designs  are,  however,  very  fine.  The  coffin  is 
not  yet  there,  but  in  a  small  side  chapel  de  St.  Jerome. 
Into  this  the  Emperor  led  me,  and  there  I  stood,  at  the  arm 
of  Napoleon  III.,  his  nephew,  before  the  coffin  of  England's 

VOL.  III.  Z 


333  DL\7NER  AT  THE    TUILERIES.  1855 

bitterest  foe  ;  I,  the  granddaughter  of  that  King  who  hated 
him  most,  and  who  most  vigorously  opposed  him,  and  this 
very  nephew,  who  bears  his  name,  being  my  nearest  and 
dearest  ally !  The  organ  of  the  Church  was  playing  "  God 
save  the  Queen "  at  the  time,  and  this  solemn  scene  took 
place  by  torchlight,  and  during  a  thunder-storm.  Strange 
and  wonderful  indeed.  It  seems,  as  if  in  this  tribute  of 
respect  to  a  departed  and  dead  foe,  old  enmities  and  rivalries 
were  wiped  out,  and  the  seal  of  Heaven  placed  upon  that 
bond  of  unity,  which  is  now  happily  established  between  two 
great  and  powerful  nations.  May  Heaven  bless  and  prosper  it! 
6  The  coffin  is  covered  with  black  velvet  and  gold,  and 
Napoleon's  orders,  hat,  and  sword,  are  placed  at  its  foot. 
The  Emperor  does  not  intend  to  bury  him  here,  but  to  take 
him  to  St.  Denis,  where  all  the  French  Kings  are  buried,  his 
great  wish  being  to  legalise  the  family  as  a  dynasty  in 
France.  He  will  leave  the  heart  here.  We  went  down  into 
the  vault  for  a  moment,  but  it  was  very  cold.  We  then  left 
and  returned  to  the  Tuileries  by  half-past  seven.  .  .  . 

'We  had  our  nice  vertrauliches  little  dinner  with  the 
Emperor  (the  children  had  again  gone  home),  and  we  talked 
a  great  deal  about  the  war.  Some  despatches,  up  to  the  14th, 
had  arrived,  and  Albert  showed  the  Emperor  "  the  Morning 
State," 5  and  spoke  of  the  reports  which  we  had  received. 
The  servants  being  still  in  the  room,  the  Emperor  began  to 
talk  in  English.  He  lamented  bitterly  the  want  of  inven 
tion  and  energy  in  both  our  commanders  from  the  first,  and 
the  absence  of  any  great  genius.  He  then  spoke  very  openly 
and  frankly  of  the  defects  of  our  generals ;  and  ive  told  him 
equally  frankly  what  was  objected  to  his ;  and  nothing  could 


5  The  tabulated  Return,  .showing  from  day  to  day  the  exact  number  and 
description  of  forces  before  Sebastopol  under  the  command  of  General  Simpson, 
and  also  of  the  siege  and  field  guns.  These  returns  were  regularly  filed  by  the 
Prince. 


i855  AT   THE  FOREST  OF  ST.    GERMAIN.  339 

be  more  satisfactory  than  the  conversation,  or  more  straight 
forward  or  honest  than  the  Emperor's  observations  and  pro 
positions.  It  was  just  as  if  we  had  one  and  the  same  army ; 
and  so,  in  fact,  it  is,  but  it  is  very  pleasant  to  find  this  so  in 
another  sovereign. 

;  It  was  pretty  to  hear  the  retraite,  which  sent  the  people 
(long  after  dark)  out  of  the  Grardens  of  the  Tuileries.  At 
half-past  nine  we  went  to  the  Opera  Comique,  not  in  state, 
though  we  were  recognised.  We  were  in  the  Emperor's 
private  box,  which  is  on  the  stage.  ...  It  was  Auber's 
pretty  opera  of  "  Haidee,"  very  nicely  sung.  The  first  act 
was  over  when  we  arrived.  After  the  opera,  before  the 
curtain  dropped,  "  Grod  save  the  Queen "  was  sung  ;  I  was 
obliged  to  show  myself,  and  was  loudly  cheered.  We  reached 
St.  Cloud  by  half-past  twelve.  The  Emperor  talked  much 
of  the  war  in  the  carriage.  He  had  received  despatches.  It 
had  rained  heavily. 

'  Saturday,  25th  August. — The  air  cooled  and  refreshed  by 
the  rain  in  the  night.'  At  half-past  eleven  the  Emperor 
started  with  his  guests  for  the  forest  of  St.  Grermain.  '  We 
arrived  about  half-past  one  at  La  Muette,  a  small  rendez 
vous  de  chasse,  with  a  few  rooms  in  it,  which  were  again  all 
ready  and  prepared  for  us. 

6  Marechal  Magnan  (grand  veneur),  Comte  Edgar  Ney, 
M.  de  Toulongeon,  &c.,  all  in  the  huntsman's  dress,  dark 
green  velvet  with  red  waistcoats,  high  boots,  and  cocked 
hats,  received  us.  Many  people  from  the  neighbourhood 
were  assembled  there,  including  good  old  Lablache,  who  was 
called  up  for  us  to  speak  to,  and  who  cried  when  the  Em 
peror  shook  hands  with  him,  and  said, "  La  Heine  iria  recom- 
itiande  votrefils."  The  dogs  were  then  brought  up  with  the 
huntsmen,  who  played  a  fanfare  on  their  horns.  Some 
young  girls  dressed  all  in  white,  with  green  wreaths,  then 
asked  permission  to  present  me  with  a  nosegay  and  some 

z  2 


340  AT  THE  PALACE  OF  ST.   GERMAIN.          1855 

fruit.  They  came,  accompanied  by  the  cure.  One,  a  very 
young  girl,  began  a  long  speech,  bringing  in  our  visit,  the 
Alliance,  the  Exposition,  &c.  Suddenly  she  stopped,  exclaiming, 
"Ah,  mon  Dieu!"  The  Emperor  and  I  proposed  to  re 
lieve  her  by  taking  the  nosegay  from  her  and  thanking  her, 
but  she  would  not  give  it  up,  and  said,  "Attendez!  je  vais 
me  rappeler!"  which  nearly  set  us  off.  But  she  persevered, 
and  did  recollect  it  for  some  sentences,  when  she  broke 
down  a  second  time.  Then  the  cure,  who  had  evidently 
composed  the  speech,  burst  forth  with  the  finale  of  "  Vive 
la  Reine  d'Angleterre  I "  which  set  the  girl  right  again,  and 
she  continued :  "  Vive  la  Reine  d'Angleterre,  vive  sa 
Demoiselle,  vive  son  Prince  Albert,  vive  VEmpereur,  vive 
r  Imperatrice,  vive  tout  le  monde  !  "  We  laughed  much 
afterwards  at  this  little  episode,  for  the  effect  was  most 
comical,  and  yet  the  poor  girl  was  much  to  be  commended 
and  admired  for  her  courage  and  perseverance ;  she  looked  so 
frightened.  .  .  .' 

After  luncheon,  a  propos  of  which  the  Queen  notes  that 
the  Imperial  cuisine  'generally  is  simple  and  good,  but 
with  less  variety  than  ours,' — and  talking  together  for  some 
little  time, '  we  went  into  the  front  room  or  hall,  where  we  sat 
down,  and  I  sketched  a  little,  and  listened  to  the  music, 
which  was  very  pretty.  The  Emperor  was  very  gay,  and 
danced  with  the  children.  We  left  about  half-past  three ; 
and  drove  to  the  old  Palace  of  St.  Germain,'  where  the  rooms 
occupied  by  Mademoiselle  de  la  Valliere,  and  those  in  which 
James  II.  lived  after  his  dethronement,  were  particularly  ex 
amined.  On  the  way  back  to  St.  Cloud,  a  visit  was  paid  to 
Malmaison,  where  the  Emperor  in  his  childhood  had  seen  the 
Empress  Josephine,  and  to  the  fortress  of  Mont  Valerien. 

There  was  to  be  a  state  ball  at  Versailles  the  same  even 
ing.  The  Royal  party,  with  the  exception  of  the  Empress, 
who  had  preceded  them,  so  as  to  rest  and  dress  at  Versailles, 


1 855  GREAT  BALL  AT   VERSAILLES.  341 

started  at  a  quarter-past  nine  :  *  thepiqueurs  carrying  torches, 
which  I  had  not  seen  since  I  was  in  Germany.  It  rained 
twice  while  we  were  on  the  way,  which  alarmed  us,  but  en 
tirely  cleared  before  we  reached  Versailles,  the  moon  shining 
beautifully.  The  Palace  looked  magnificent.  It  was  illu 
minated  throughout  with  lamps,  which  had  a  charming 
effect.  The  staircase,  finely  lighted  up  and  carpeted, 
looked  not  like  the  same  staircase  we  had  seen  a  few  days 
before.  The  Empress  met  us  at  the  top  of  the  staircase,  look 
ing  like  a  fairy  queen  or  nymph,  in  a  white  dress,  trimmed 
with  branches  of  grass  and  diamonds, — a  beautiful  tour  de  cor 
sage  of  diamonds  round  the  top  of  her  dress,  and  all  en  riviere, 
the  same  round  her  waist,  and  a  corresponding  coiffure, 
with  her  Spanish  and  Portuguese  orders.  The  Emperor 
said  when  she  appeared  :  "  Comme  tu  es  belle ! "  .  .  .  We 
went  through  the  Galerie  des  Glaces,  which  was  full  of  people, 
and  one  blaze  of  light  from  countless  lustres.  Wreaths  of 
flowers  hung  from  the  ceiling. 

'  We  went  to  the  window  to  look  at  the  illuminations  all 
along  the  grillage  of  yellow  and  green  lamps,  with  our  four 
initials  at  intervals,  which  were  charmingly  reflected  in  the 
water.  The  general  effect  was  splendid.  We  next  went  into 
another  room,  from  the  balcony  of  which  we  witnessed  the 
fireworks.  These  were  magnificent — rockets,  and  bouquets 
of  girandoles, — such  as  I  have  never  seen,  they  rose  so  high, 
and  the  balls  and  lights  thrown  were  so  variegated  in  colours. 
Guns  were  fired  the  whole  time,  and  unfortunately  the  smoke 
was  driven  by  the  wind  too  low,  which  slightly  obscured  the 
fireworks  at  the  end,  to  the  great  distress  of  the  Empress,  by 
whom  the  fireworks,  as  well  as  the  rest  of  the  fete,  had  been 
designed.  The  Emperor  had,  I  believe,  ordered  the  guns,  as 
he  thought  (and  in  that  he  was  right),  that  something  of 
this  sort  is  always  required  to  keep  up  the  excitement.  The 
finale  was  a  representation  in  fireworks  of  Windsor  Castle, — 


342  GREAT  BALL  AT  VERSAILLES.  1855 

a  very  pretty  attention.     We  then  returned  to  the  ball  and 
the  dancing  began.' 

The  Empress  did  not  dance.6  The  Queen  danced  two 
quadrilles,  the  first  with  the  Emperor,  the  second  with  Prince 
Napoleon.  In  these  Prince  Albert  joined,  dancing  first  with 
the  Princess  Mathilde,  and  afterwards  with  the  Princess  of 
Augustenburg.  Several  of  the  guests  were  then  presented  to 
Her  Majesty,  among  others,  one  who  was  afterwards  to  visit 
the  halls  of  the  palace  of  Versailles  under  very  different  cir 
cumstances, — Count  Bismarck,  then  Prussian  Minister  at 
Frankfort.  He  is  described  as  '  very  Russian  and  Kreuz- 
zeitungj  and  as  having  said,  in  answer  to  the  Queen's  ob 
servation,  'how  beautiful  Paris  was,' — ' Sogar  schoner  als 
Petersburg''  (even  more  beautiful  than  Petersburg}.  Dan 
cing  was  then  resumed,  the  Queen  waltzing  with  the  Em 
peror,  'who  waltzes  very  quietly'  ....  'This  over,  we 
waited  in  the  celebrated  ce'd-de-bceuf,  where  Louis  XIV.'s 
courtiers  waited  for  him  pov.r  etre  au  lever,  and  which  the 
ball-room  opens  into.  It  was  beautifully  furnished  for  the 
occasion  with  Beauvais  tapestry. 

*  We  waited  till  all  the  company  had  gone  in  to  supper, 
and  then  began  our  procession,  the  guards,  officers,  £c., 
walking  before  us.  We  walked  through  a  number  of  fine 
rooms  and  a  long  gallery  to  the  theatre,  where  the  supper  was. 
The  sight  it  presented  was  truly  magnificent.  The  whole 
stage  was  covered  in,  and  four  hundred  people  sat  down  to 
supper  at  forty  small  tables  of  ten  each,  each  presided  over 
by  a  lady,  and  nicely  selected, — all  by  the  Empress's  own 
desire  and  arrangement.  There  were  many  garlands  of 
flowers,  and  the  whole  was  beautifully  lit  up  with  innumerable 
chandeliers.  The  boxes  were  full  of  spectators,  and  a  band 
was  playing,  but  not  visible.  We  sat  at  a  small  table  in  the 
centre  box,  with  only  the  Emperor  and  Empress,  the  two 
8  The  Empress  was  at  this  time  enceinte,  and  in  very  delicate  health. 


1855  MORNING  AT  ST.   CLOUD.  343 

children,  Prince  Napoleon,  Princess  Mathilde,  and  Prince 
Adalbert.  It  was  one  of  the  finest  and  most  magnificent 
sights  we  had  ever  witnessed  ;  there  had  not  been  a  ball  at 
Versailles  since  the  time  of  Louis  XVI.,  and  the  present  one 
had  been  arranged  after  a  print  of  a  fete  given  by  Louis 
XV.  The  supper  over,  we  returned  to  the  Salle  ties  Olaces, 
where  there  was  one  more  waltz,  which  the  Emperor  danced 
with  Vicky.  .  .  . 

'  It  was  near  two  when  we  left.  .  .  .  The  Emperor,  as 
he  led  me  away,  said, "  C'est  terrible,  quece  soit  Uav ant-dernier 
soir  !  ''  which  I  was  equally  sorry  for.  I  observed,  I  hoped 
he  would  come  to  England  again,  to  which  he  replied,  "  Most 
certainly.  Mais,  n'est-ce  pas,  vous  reviendrez  ?  Comme  nous 
nous  connaissons  maintenant,  nous  pouvons  oiler  nous 
voir  a  Windsor  et  a  Fontainebleau  sans  grande  ceremonie, 
n'est-ce  pas  ?  "  I  replied,  that  this  would  give  me  great  plea 
sure,  which  it  certainly  would.  ...  It  was  past  two  when 
we  got  home,  much  delighted,  and  the  children  in  ecstasies, 
and  past  three  before  we  got  to  bed.' 

Sunday,  26th  August. — This  was  Prince  Albert's  birthday. 
It  is  thus  the  entries  for  the  day  begin. 

'  This  dearest  of  days  was  not  ushered  in  as  usual,  nor 
spent  at  home  as  I  could  have  wished ;  but  my  dear  Albert 
was  pleased,  and  it  was  spent  with  those  who  truly  appreciate 
him.  May  Grod  ever  bless  and  protect  him  for  many,  many 
years  to  come,  and  may  we  ever  be  together  to  our  lives'  end  ! 
'  The  morning  was  beautiful,  and,  when  I  was  dressed, 
Albert  came  in.  I  gave  him  at  a  table  surrounded  by  a 
wreath  a  very  fine  bronze  of  the  celebrated  Belgian  group, 
"  Le  Lion  Amoureux"  and  some  pretty  Alliance  and  Crimean 
studs,  the  third  button  having  a  blank,  I  hope  for  Sebastopol. 
The  Emperor  joined  us  and  we  breakfasted.  Immediately 
after  breakfast  the  Emperor  said,  that  he  had  some  music  of 
his  own  composition  in  honour  of  Albert's  birthday.  He  took 


344  CONVERSATION   WITH  EMPEROR  1855 

us  to  the  balcony  of  Albert's  dressing-room,  which  over 
looks  the  courtyard,  where  were  assembled  300  drummers, 
with  their  several  tambour-majors.  Upon  our  appearing  the 
Emperor  gave  them  the  signal,  "  Commencez  ! "  on  which 
they  all,  as  if  they  were  one  man,  began  a  splendid  roll  of 
drums  in  a  particular  manner,  which  is  only  given  upon  the 
jour  de  ran.  They  repeated  this  twice,  and  then  went  away 
cheering.  It  was  very  fine,  and  very  kind  of  the  Emperor. 
He  is  particularly  fond  of  it.' 

In  the  course  of  this  morning,  while  the  Emperor  drove 
the  Queen  through  the  Park  of  St.  Cloud  in  his  own  phaeton, 
a  very  interesting  conversation  took  place.  '  I  said  to  the 
Emperor  that  as  he  was  always  so  very  frank  in  all  he  said 
to  me,  and  wished  that  I  should  be  the  same,  I  was  very 
anxious  to  tell  him  something,  "  que  favais  bien  a  coeur, 
qu'il  comprit"  and  this  was,  that  he  should  understand  on 
what  footing  I  was  with  the  Orleans  family ; — that  they  were 
my  friends  and  relations,  and  that  I  could  not  drop  them  in 
their  adversity,  but  that  they  were  very  discreet,  and  politics 
were  not  touched  upon  between  us.  The  Emperor  replied, 
that  he  quite  understood  this,  and  felt  that  I  could  not 
abandon  those  who  were  in  misfortune.  I  rejoined,  that  I 
felt  certain  this  was  the  Emperor's  feeling  ;  but  that  other 
people  tried,  and  Walewski  was  one,  to  put  a  great  stress  on 
my  communications  with  the  family,  and  to  make  me  under 
stand  that  the  Emperor  would  be  very  much  displeased. 
He  replied,  "  that  was  just  like  Walewski.  .  .  .  Commenous 
tiommes  une  fois  sur  ce  sujet"  he  continued,  he  wished  to 
explain  the  motives  which  led  him  to  confiscate  the  property 
of  the  Orleans  family,  an  action  which  had  been  much 
attacked.  He  had  no  animosity  to  the  family.  He  had 
wished  to  leave  all  the  Orleanist  employes  in  their  places,  to 
dismiss  no  one,  and  to  receive  every  one,  but  that  he  had 
discovered  that  their  agents,  encouraged  by  themselves 


1855  AS   TO   ORLEANS   FAMILY.  345 

(though,  on  my  observation,  that  I  was  sure  they  would  not 
conspire,  he  admitted  that),  were  attempting  to  upset  his 
authority,  and  that  then  he  felt  he  could  not  leave  them 
with  such  large  possessions,  which  they  would  have  the  power 
to  use  against  the  government.  He  had  therefore  pursued 
the  course,  that  had  been  pursued  before,  of  obliging  them 
to  sell  their  property  within  six  months.  But  he  repeated 
that  he  had  " aucune  animosite"  and  he  hoped,  I  had  told 
the  Queen  that  it  would  give  him  pleasure,  if  she  passed 
through  France  on  her  way  to  Spain.  I  could  not  make 
much  further  remark,  beyond  saying  that  they  had  felt  the  con 
fiscation  very  much,  and  that  they  were  in  consequence  much 
more  bitter  than  they  would  otherwise  have  been,  at  least, 
they  had  been  at  the  time,  for  now  the  subject  was  never 
mentioned  between  us.  I  praised  the  Princes,  and  the  Queen, 
their  discretion,  &c.  The  Emperor  said,  in  conclusion  of  his 
explanation  about  the  confiscation,  that  their  agents  were  in 
constant  communication  with  his  enemies,  even  "  avec  ceux 
qui  prechent  Vassassinat"  I  said,  I  could  hardly  credit 
this.  They  were,  I  was  sure,  incapable  of  such  conduct.  I, 
Jiowever,  added,  that  naturally  all  exiles  were  inclined  to 
conspire,  which  he  did  not  deny,  and  which  indeed  he  had 
practised  himself.  .  .  . 

c  A  curious  conversation,  but  which  I  was  greatly  relieved 
to  have  had,  for  with  my  feelings  of  sincerity,  I  could  not 
bear  that  there  should  be  anything  between  us,  now  that  the 
Alliance  is  so  firmly  and  intimately  established,  and  still 
more  since  we  personally  are  on  so  intimate  and  friendly  a 
footing.  I  was  very  anxious  to  get  out  what  I  had  to  say 
on  the  subject,  and  not  to  have  this  untouchable  ground 
between  us.  Stockmar,  so  far  back  as  last  winter,  suggested 
and  advised,  that  this  course  should  be  pursued.  During 
this  conversation  the  Emperor  again  proposed — he  had  done 
so  last  Sunday — to  take  us  to  see  the  Chapelle  de  St.  Ferdi- 


346          AT   THE   CHAPEL   OF  ST.   FERDINAND.         1855 

nand,    built  on  the  spot  where  the  poor   Duke  of  Orleans 
died.' 

English  service  was  read  at  noon.  After  this  '  both  the 
Emperor  and  Empress  most  kindly  gave  Albert  presents,  the 
former  a  picture  by  Meissonier,  the  finest  thing  in  the 
Exhibition.  .  .  .  The  Emperor  kept  constantly  asking  me, 
through  Lady  Ely,  what  Albert  would  like  to  have  ;  and  when 
I  said  at  last,  I  know  how  much  Albert  admired  this  picture, 
the  Emperor  instantly  sent  for  it,  and  gave  it  to  him.  So 
very  kind.  The  Empress  gave  him  a  beautiful  Poked'1 
carved  in  ivory,  and  handsomely  mounted.  The  presents 
were  placed  in  the  luncheon  room.  .  .  .' 

In  the  afternoon  the  visit  to  the  Chapelle  de  St.  Ferdi 
nand  was  paid  by  the  Queen  and  Prince  in  company  with 
their  Imperial  hosts.  As  they  came  out  of  this  chapel,  of 
which  some  of  the  most  beautiful  features  are  by  Baron 
Triqueti,  who  lived  to  design  the  art  decorations  of  the 
Memorial  Chapel  to  the  Prince  at  Windsor,  a  woman  from 
the  opposite  house,  where  the  Cure  who  attended  us  lives, 
brought  two  medals  in  a  box,  which  the  Emperor  took  from 
her,  paying  for  them  himself,  and  giving  them  to  me  comme 
souvenir.  They  contained  the  heads  of  poor  Chartres  [the 
late  Duke  of  Orleans]  and  Paris,  with  some  lines  in  allusion 
to  the  latter  being  the  hope  of  France,  and  with  a  repre 
sentation  of  the  chapel  on  the  back.  Strange  that  the 
Emperor  should  have  bought  them  ! ' 

A  dinner  party,  followed  by  a  concert  of  classical  music, 
'  which  Albert  was  much  pleased  with,  but  which  bored  the 
Emperor,'  wound  up  the  evening. 

'  Monday ,  27th  August,  St.  Cloud I  must  write  to 
day,  and  here  in  my  lovely  dressing  room,  in  this  beautiful 
St.  Cloud,  with  the  cool  sound  of  the  fountains  in  my  ear,  a 
few  parting  words.     I  am  deeply  grateful  for  these  eight  very 
7  This  cup  is  now  at  Balmoral. 


i855  DEPARTURE  FROM  PARIS,  347 

happy  days,  and  for  the  delight  of  seeing  such  beautiful  and 
interesting  places  and  objects,  and  for  the  reception  which 
we  have  met  with  in  Paris,  and  in  France  generally.  The 
union  of  the  two  nations,  and  of  the  two  Sovereigns,  for  there 
is  a  great  friendship  sprung  up  between  us,  is  of  the  greatest 
importance  !  May  God  bless  these  two  countries,  and  may 
He  specially  protect  the  precious  life  of  the  Emperor,  and 
may  this  happy  union  ever  continue  for  the  benefit  of  the 
world  ! 

'A  beautiful  morning,  which  made  the  dear  place  look 
only  more  lovely,  and  the  departure  even  more  sad.  ...  At 
length  at  ten  we  were  ready  to  go,  and  the  Emperor  came, 
saying  the  Empress  was  ready,  but  "  ne  pent  tfa/rracher"  and 
if  I  would  come  to  her  room,  it  would  make  her  come.  When 
we  went  in,  the  Emperor  called  to  her,  "  Eugenie,  la  Heine  e$t 
la  ;  "  and  she  came  and  gave  me  a  beautiful  fan,  and  a  rose 
and  heliotrope  from  the  garden,  and  Vicky  a  beautiful  brace 
let,  set  with  rubies  and  diamonds,  containing  her  hair,  with 
which  Vicky  was  delighted.  We  started  at  half-past  ten,  the 
Emperor  and  Empress  going  with  us.  I  was  sorely  grieved 
to  leave  this  charming  St.  Cloud.  The  morning  was  more 
beautiful  than  ever,  though  intensely  hot.  The  crowds 
great  everywhere,  beginning  with  the  town  of  St.  Cloud, 
where  we  generally  (as  also  in  other  places)  saw  some  poor 
wounded  soldiers  from  the  Crimea,  including  some  of  my 
favourites,  the  Zouaves.  Along  the  whole  route  there  were 
immense  crowds,  all  most  friendly.  The  Arc  de  Triomphe, 
under  which  we  drove  almost  daily,  had  never  been  driven 
under  before,  except,  I  think,  on  one  great  occasion  by  the 
Emperor  himself,  and  when  the  "  cendres  de  Napoleon" 
passed  through  it.8  All  these  things  are  striking  and  valu 
able,  as  indicating  the  altered  feeling  of  the  country.' 

8  This  Arch,  -which  is  generally  associated  exclusively  with  the  name  of 
the  first  Napoleon,  was  begun  by  him  in  1806.  On  the  1st  of  April,  1810, 


348  REVIEW  AT  BOULOGNE.  1855 

At  the  Tuileries  adieu  was  said,  amid  no  small  emotion,  to 
the  Empress,  and  the  Royal  guests  proceeded  in  state,  ac 
companied  by  the  Emperor  and  Prince  Napoleon,  to  the 
Strasbourg  Railway  Station,  where  they  were  met  by  all  the 
Ministers  and  Municipal  authorities.  The  same  cordial 
welcome  which  had  greeted  them  in  going  to  Paris  awaited 
them  at  the  various  towns  which  they  passed  on  their  way 
back  to  Boulogne,  which  was  reached  at  half-past  five.  After 
resting  a  short  time  at  the  Hotel  du  Pavilion,  which  is  close 
to  the  beach,  facing  the  sea,  '  we  drove  down  at  once,'  Her 
Majesty  writes,  c  to  the  sands,  where  were  assembled  all  the 
troops  of  the  camp,  36,000  infantry,  besides  cavalry,  lancers, 
and  dragoons,  and  the  gendarmerie.  We  drove  down  the 
lines,  which  were  immensely  deep,  quite  a  forest  of  bayonets. 
The  effect  they  produced,  with  the  background  of  the  calm 
blue  sea,  and  the  setting  sun,  which  threw  a  glorious  crimson 
light  over  all — for  it  was  six  o'clock — was  most  magnificent.' 

Several  of  the  officers  and  men  were  then  decorated  by  the 
Emperor  with  the  Cross  of  the  Legion  of  Honour,  after  which 
came  the  usual  march  past.  As  to  this  it  is  observed : 
f  They  walk  much  looser  than  our  men,  but  they  keep  their 
time  well  and  their  appearance  and  step  are  very  soldier 
like.  .  .  .  Near  the  end  of  the  march  past  our  squadron 
saluted,  and  indeed  it  was  one  of  the  not  least  remarkable  of 
the  many  striking  events  and  contrasts  with  former  times, 
which  took  placs  during  this  visit,  that  at  this  very  place,  on 
these  very  sands,  Napoleon  I.  reviewed  his  army,  which  was 
to  invade  England,  Nelson's  fleet  lying,  where  our  squadron 

when  the  Empress  Maria  Louisa  made  her  triumphal  entry  into  Paris,  she 
passed  under  a  wooden  structure  reared  above  what  had  then  been  built  of  the 
Arch,  and  which  represented  what  it  was  intended  to  be.  The  Arch  was  un 
finished  at  the  time  of  the  fall  of  Napoleon,  the  scaffolding  was  removed,  and 
for  a  time  it  seemed  as  if  the  work  would  not  be  proceeded  with.  However, 
Charles  X.  set  to  work  to  complete  it,  intending  to  use  it  as  a  memorial  of  the 
exploits  of  the  Due  d'Angouleme  in  Spain.  But  the  original  design  was  re 
sumed  by  Louis  Philippe,  and  it  was  completed  in  1836. 


i8ss  DEPARTURE  FROM  BOULOGNE.  349 

lay,  watching  that  very  army.  Now  our  squadron  saluted 
Napoleon  III.  while  his  army  was  filing  past  the  Queen  of 
England,  several  of  the  bands  playing  "  Rule  Britannia ! " 
....  The  sight  of  the  troops  as  they  filed  off  in  their 
separate  battalions  of  800  each  along  the  sea-shore,  the  setting 
sun  gilding  the  thousands  of  bayonets,  lances,  &c.,  was  in 
describably  beautiful.' 

The  Queen  and  Prince  now  drove  to  the  camps  of  Honvault 
and  Ambleteuse.  By  the  time  they  had  inspected  these,  ( the 
moon  was  rising,  like  a  crimson  ball,  and  giving  a  beautiful 
effect  to  the  darkening  sky  and  the  dim  twilight.  I  had  a 
cantiniere  called  up  to  the  carriage,  and  looked  at  her  dress 
and  her  little  barrel.  She  was  very  tidy,  clean,  and  well 
spoken.  I  wish  we  had  them  in  our  army.  They  must 
always  be  married,  and  if  they  wish  to  remain  in  the  regi 
ment,  and  their  husbands  die  or  are  killed,  they  must  marry 
again  within  the  year.' 

At  length  came  the  hour  of  parting.  4  At  eleven  o'clock, 
after  having  dined,  we  got  into  the  carriages.  The  streets 
and  houses  of  the  town  were  one  blaze  of  illuminations  and 
fireworks.  There  were  salutes,  bands  playing,  great  cheering, 
and,  to  crown  all,  an  exquisite  moon,  shining  brilliantly  over 
everything.  It  was  a  very  fine  and  moving  sight.  The 
Emperor  led  me  on  board,  followed  by  his  whole  suite,  as  he 
wished  to  go  with  us  a  little  way  out  to  sea.  We  glided 
out  of  the  harbour,  I  with  a  heavy  heart.  .  .  . 

4  When  out  of  the  port,  we  took  the  Emperor,  who  was  in 
perfect  amazement  at  the  size  of  the  yacht,  all  over  it  below  ; 
he  wishes  to  build  one,  smaller,  for  himself.  I  said  he 
should  build  one  the  same  size,  to  which  he  replied  :  "  Cela  va 
pour  la  Reine  des  Mers,  mais  pas  pour  un  terrestrien 
comme  moi."  When  we  came  on  deck,  Colonel  Fleury  told 
the  Emperor  he  must  leave,  or  his  small  yacht,  V Ariel, 
could  not  re-enter  the  port. 


350  RETURN  TO   OSBORNE.  1855 

4  We  thanked  the  Emperor  much  for  all  his  kindness  and 
for  this  delightful  visit.  He  said  :  "  Vous  reviendrez  ?  "  and 
we  hoped  he  would  come  to  England;  I  embraced  him  twice, 
and  he  shook  hands  very  warmly  with  Albert  and  the  children. 
We  followed  him  to  the  ladder,  and  here  I  once  more  squeezed 
his  hand  and  embraced  him,  saying  :  u  Encore  une  fois, 
adieu,  Sire !  "  We  looked  over  the  side  of  the  ship,  and 
watched  them  getting  into  the  barge.  The  Emperor  called 
out:  "Adieu,  Madame,  an  revoir:"  to  which  I  replied: 
"  Je  Pespere  bien."  We  heard  the  splash  of  the  oars,  and 
saw  the  barge  lit  by  the  moon  and  numbers  of  blue  lights, 
which  we  had  on  board  the  yacht,  row  up  to  the  Ariel,  and 
the  Emperor  and  the  rest  go  on  board  the  yacht.  Then  we 
sent  up  endless  rockets.  We  waited  a  little  while  for  the 
Fairy  to  bring  up  the  baggage,  and  watched  the  Imperial 
yacht  which  passed  us,  which  our  men  cheered,  while  we 
waved  our  handkerchiefs,  and  then  all  was  still,  all  over !  It 
was  past  twelve  when  the  Emperor  left,  and  we  stayed  talking 
with  Lord  Clarendon  till  one.' 

By  half-past  eight  next  morning  the  yacht  cast  anchor 
below  Osborne,  where  Prince  Alfred  and  his  younger  brothers 
were  waiting  upon  the  beach.  f  Near  the  house  were  Lenchen 
and  Louise,  and  in  the  house  poor  dear  Alice,  who  was  quite 
upset  at  seeing  us.'  The  calm  sweet  home  after  the  stir  and 
splendour  of  the  last  ten  days  is  brought  vividly  before  us  in 
these  few  simple  words.  The  Queen  sums  up  the  account, 
of  which  we  have  only  been  able  to  borrow  a  comparatively 
small  portion,  with  the  following  remarks : — 

'  Strange  indeed  are  the  dispensations  and  ways  of  Provi 
dence.  Who  ever  could  have  thought  that  this  same  man,  this 
Emperor,  towards  whom  we  certainly  were  not,  since  Decem 
ber  1851,  well  disposed,  against  whom  so  much  was  and  could 
be  said,  whose  life  had  been  so  chequered,  could  from  out 
ward  circumstances,  and  his  own  sincere,  straightforward 


1855       CHARACTER  OF  NAPOLEON  III.       351 

conduct  towards  this  country,  and  moderation  and  wisdom 
generally,  become  not  only  the  staunchest  ally  and  friend  of 
England,  but  our  personal  friend  ! 

'  I  have   since  talked  frequently  with  Albert,  who  is  natu 
rally  much   calmer,   and   particularly    much   less    taken    by 
people,  much  less  under  personal  influence,  than  I  am.     He 
quite  admits  that  it  is  extraordinary,  how  very   much  at 
tached  one  becomes  to  the  Emperor,  when  one  lives  with 
him  quite  at  one's  ease  and  intimately,   as  we  have  done 
during  the  last  ten  days,  for  eight,  ten,  twelve,  and,  to-day, 
even  fourteen  hours  a  day.     He  is  so  quiet,  so  simple,  naif 
even,  so  pleased  to  be  informed  about  things  which  he  does 
not  know,  so  gentle,  so  full  of  tact,  dignity  and  modesty, 
so  full  of  respect  and  kind  attention  towards  us,  never  saying 
a  word,  or  doing  a  thing,  which  could  put  me  out  or  embar 
rass   me.       I    know  few    people,    whom    I    have    felt  invo 
luntarily  more  inclined  to  confide  in  and  speak  unreservedly 
to — I   should  not  fear   saying  anything   to  him.     I    felt — 
I    do    not    know    how    to    express  it — safe  with  him.     His 
society  is  particularly  agreeable  and  pleasant ;  there  is  some 
thing  fascinating,  melancholy,  and  engaging,  which  draws  you 
to  him,  in  spite  of  any  prevention  you  may  have  against  him, 
and  certainly  without  the  assistance  of  any  outward  advan 
tages  of  appearance,  though  I  like  his  face.     He  undoubtedly 
has  a  most  extraordinary  power  of  attaching  people  to  him  ! 
The  children  are  very  fond  of  him ;  to  them  also  his  kindness 
was  very  great,  but  at  the  same  time  most  judicious.     Then, 
lie  is  so  fond  of  Albert,  appreciates  him  so  thoroughly,  and 
shows  him  so  much  confidence.     In  fine,  I  shall  always  look 
back  on  this  visit  to  France,  not  only  on  account  of  the  de 
lightful  and  splendid  things  we  saw  and  enjoyed,  but  on  the 
time  we  passed  with  the  Emperor,  as  one  of  the  pleasantest 
and  most  interesting  periods  of  my  life  !     The  Empress,  too, 
has  a  great  charm,  and  we  are  all  very  fond  of  her.' 


352 


CHAPTER   LXVII. 

WHILE  the  feelings  inspired  by  the  incidents  of  the  last 
ten  days  were  still  fresh  and  warm,  both  the  Queen  and 
Prince  wrote  to  the  Emperor  of  the  French  to  express  their 
gratitude  for  the  personal  kindness  of  the  Empress  and  him 
self,  and  satisfaction  at  the  prospect  of  a  closer  intimacy 
between  France  and  England,  to  which  the  cordiality  of  their 
reception  warranted  them  in  looking  forward.1  A  few  words 
of  the  Emperor's  reply  to  the  Prince  suffice  to  show  the  hold 
upon  his  regard  which  the  Prince's  high  qualities  had  estab 
lished.  '  Xeed  I  say,'  he  writes,  '  that  the  more  I  know  you, 
the  greater  is  my  esteem  for  your  character,  and  my  friend 
ship  for  your  person  ?  Of  this  you  must  be  convinced,  for  \\  e 
know  by  intuition  those  who  love  us.  I  regretted  much  the 
shortness  of  your  stay,  for  where  a  desire  to  do  good  exists, 
the  more  people  are  together,  the  better  do  they  understand 
each  other.' 

There  were  many  letters  to  be  written  by  the  Prince  im 
mediately  after  the  return  to  Osborne,  in  acknowledgment 
of  the  congratulations  on  his  birthday,  and  to  those  who  were 
looking  eagerly  for  his  report  of  the  events  of  the  last  few 
days.  Not  the  least  interesting  of  these  was  the  following 
to  the  King  of  the  Belgians  :— 

1  Osborne,  29th  August,  1855. 

6  My  dear  Uncle, — We  cannot  be  sufficiently  thankful  for 
the  success  which  has  attended  our  expedition  to  Paris. 

1  These  letters,  with  the  Emperor's  replies,  will  Le  found  in  the  Appendix. 


1855  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE.  353 

One  day  later,  and  we  should  not  have  been  able  to  reach 
Boulogne,  and  during  a  heavy  gale  that  lasted  for  three  days 
hosts  of  vessels  had  to  run  for  it  to  the  Downs.  In  Paris  we 
had  the  most  glorious  weather,  no  accident  of  any  kind 
occurred,  none  of  the  festivities  miscarried,  no  man's  feelings 
were  wounded  (as  on  occasions  of  this  kind,  where  so  many 
personal  vanities  are  brought  into  play,  so  generally  happens), 
the  public  was  inspired  by  a  daily  growing  enthusiasm,  and 
on  good  terms  with  us,  and  with  itself,  the  troops  were  superb, 
the  festivities  fine  and  on  a  grand  scale  (grossartig  schori), 
the  Emperor  and  Empress  cordial  and  friendly,  our  own  suite 
thoroughly  pleased,  the  children  well-behaved,  and  at  the 
same  time  highly  delighted.  In  short,  everything  went  off 
to  a  wish,  which  is  always  a  great  chance  where  what  had 
to  be  done  demanded  such  difficult  combinations,  as  were 
recaiired  here.  That  the  results  of  the  visit  will  be  most 
beneficial  politically,  I  cannot  for  a  moment  doubt. 

'  Paris  is  signally  beautified  by  the  Rue  de  Rivoli,  the 
Boulevard  de  Strasbourg,  the  completion  of  the  Louvre,  the 
great  open  square  in  front  of  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  the  clearing 
away  of  all  the  small  houses  which  surrounded  Notre  Dame,  by 
the  fine  Napoleon  barracks,  the  completion  of  the  Palais  de 
Justice,  and  restoration  of  the  Sainte  Chapelle,  and  especially 
by  the  laying  out  of  the  ornamental  grounds  in  the  Bois  de 
Boulogne,  which  really  may  be  said  to  vie  with  the  finest 
English  parks.  How  all  this  could  have  been  done  in  so 
short  a  time,  no  one  comprehends.  On  the  other  hand,  a 
painful  impression  was  produced  by  Neuilly  laid  in  ruins, 
with  grass  growing  over  them,  and  by  the  chapel  of  St. 
Ferdinand,  with  the  beautiful  monument  to  the  Duke  of 
Orleans.  Both  of  these  spots  we  visited  with  the  Emperor. 
Strange  !  No  less  remarkable  than  that,  after  the  great 
review,  we  went  down  in  our  uniforms,  by  torchlight  (for 
it  was  now  dark)  with  him  and  Prince  Napoleon  into  the 

YOL.  III.  A  A 


354  LETTER   TO  KING  LEOPOLD.  1855 

tomb  of  Napoleon,  while  the  organ  of  the  Church  of  the 
Invalides  played  "  God  save  the  Queen ; "  and  that  40,000 
men  defiled  before  us  upon  the  beach  at  Boulogne,  the  spot 
from  which  Napoleon  was  to  start  his  invading  army,  and 
that  whilst  our  fleet  "saluted  us  from  the  very  anchorage 
which  Nelson  traversed  for  the  purpose  of  preventing  the  in 
vasion,  many  of  the  French  regimental  bands  played  '•  Rule 
Britannia  ! "  in  reply.  So  numerous  were  the  strange  im 
pressions  wrought  by  the  contrast  of  past  with  present,  that 
one  could  often  only  wonder.  Thus  we  supped  at  Versailles 
in  the  theatre  where  the  gardes  du  corps  held  their  famous 
banquet,  and  even  sat  in  the  box  in  which  Marie  Antoinette 
showed  herself  to  them ;  Victoria  made  her  toilette  in  her 
boudoir,  the  ball-room  was  decorated  after  Louis  XV.'s  last 
ball,  &c.  &c. 

'  Little  was  said  about  politics,  beyond  the  strongest  assur 
ances  of  persevering  loyally  in  the  war,  until  it  shall  be 
brought  to  a  satisfactory  close.  The  French  are  now  within 
60  yards  of  the  Malakoff,  and  we  within  120  of  the  Redan  ; 
the  new  Russian  army  was  beaten  in  the  field  on  the  16th, 
and  must  have  lost  15,000  men  on  the  occasion,  for  3,200 
dead  were  buried  during  the  truce.  The  Russian  cavalry 
must  be  at  its  last  gasp  for  want  of  fodder,  and  the  garrison 
of  Sebastopol  crippled  by  the  numbers  of  sick  and  wounded. 
God  send  a  happy  issue  to  it  all ! !  and  that  would  soon  come, 
had  we  one  General-in-Chief.' 

The  Prince  sent  a  copy  of  this  letter  the  same  day  to  Baron 
Stockmar,  writing  to  him  at  the  same  time  as  follows  : — 

'  We  got  back  here  safely  yesterday.  I  send  you  copies  of 
some  travelling  impressions,  which  I  have  just  despatched  to 
Uncle  Leopold,  so  as  not  to  be  going  twice  over  the  same 
ground.  A  difficult  expedition  has  been  carried  through  with 


i855  TO  BARON  STOCKMAR.  355 

the  most  complete  success,  and  will  be  productive  of  lasting 
advantage.  Our  relations  with  the  Emperor  have  become 
more  and  more  confidential  and  direct,  and  the  alliance  gives 
to  the  edifice  he  is  rearing  a  certain  weight  and  solidity 
(Gehalt)  which  cannot  be  improvised. 

'Victoria  has  borne  all  the  fatigues  very  well,  and  the  for 
her  really  great  exertions  which  she  has  made  to  please  the 
people,  and  to  call  their  friendly  feelings  into  play,  have  met 
with  the  fullest  recognition,  and  evoked  great  enthusiasm  for 
her,  in  which  all  parties  appear  glad  to  have  found  a  point 
of  union.2  You  will  be  pleased  to  hear  how  well  both  the 
children  behaved.  Nothing  could  be  more  unembarrassed, 
more  modest,  or  more  friendly.  They  have  made  themselves 
general  favourites,  too, — especially  the  Prince  of  Wales,  qui 
est  si  gentil.  As  the  French  are  sarcastic,  and  not  readily 
partial  to  strangers,  this  is  so  much  the  more  important. 

4 1  am  in  the  midst  of  the  misery  of  having  to  celebrate 
my  birthday,  and  answering  a  host  of  letters  of  congratu 
lation,  besides  unpacking  and  putting  things  straight,  pick 
ing  up  the  arrears  caused  by  our  journey,  and  preparing  for 
our  departure  for  Scotland,  so  I  must  conclude.  We  go 
north  on  the  5th,  and  shall  occupy  the  new  house.  Remem 
ber,  your  room  is  ready,  and  waiting  for  you  to  consecrate 
it,  and  send  me  a  line  to  say  if  you  are  coming.  The 
mountain  air  will  do  you  good.' 

2  Strong  confirmation  of  this  was  given  in  a  letter  from  the  Princess  Lieven 
to  her  most  intimate  friend  in  England,  from  which  the  following  extract  wafe 
sent  (16th  of  September)  by  Lord  Clarendon  to  the  Queen  : — 

'  La  visite  de  la  Untie  a  ete  une  perfection  dc  tout  point  savf  le  retard  du 
premier  jour.  Pour  tout  le  reste,  curiosite,  bienveillance  dans  le  public,  bonne 
reception  partout,  fetes  magnifiques,  temps  superbe,  bonne  humeur,  en  hauten  has. 
La  Reine  ravie,  emerveillee,  enchantee  de  son  hdte,  temoignant  son  plaiair  de 
tout.  On  Ta  trouvee  parfaitement  gracieuse,  toujours  reine,  toujours  droite, 
tournure  chnrmante.  Voi/a  la  verite  vraie,  car  cest  tout  le  monde  qui  le  redit.' 
In  sending  this  extract  Lord  Clarendon  says  :  '  Princess  Lieven's  salon  and 
entourage  were  not  pleased  with  the  visit,  and  she  herself  is  in  no  friendly  mood 
towards  England,  but  the  force  of  truth  prevailed  at  the  moment  of  writing.' 

A  A   2 


356  LETTER   TO  DUCHESS  OF  KENT.  1855 

The  Duchess  of  Kent  was  then  at  Abergeldie,  and  had  sent 
the  Prince  a  favourable  account  of  the  new  house  at  Balmoral, 
which  had  just  been  partially  completed.  In  acknowledging 
her  birthday  good  wishes  and  gift,  he  writes  to  her  : — 

'  I  send  you  my  most  hearty  thanks  for  your  telegrams,  for 
your  dear  letter,  which  I  received  while  still  in  France,  and 
for  the  second,  written  on  the  26th,  which  reached  me  to-day, 
as  well  as  for  the  beautiful  clock,  which  made  a  great  figure 
upon  my  table  of  presents  to-day.  You  see,  therefore,  that 
I  have  much  cause  for  gratitude.  The  clock  shall  accompany 
me  to  Balmoral,  and  take  up  its  abiding-place  upon  my 
mantle-piece  there. 

'  I  am  glad  you  like  the  building,  about  which  I  am  very 
curious. 

'  I  shall  say  little  about  Paris,  as  I  want  to  keep  your 
curiosity  alive  for  all  that  will  have  to  be  told  you  by  word 
of  mouth.  You  can  then  ask,  too,  about  the  points  most  in 
teresting  to  yourself.  The  whole  journey  has  been  "  a  perfect 
success,"  and  has  been  unmistakeably  watched  over  and 
favoured  by  heaven  ;  and  there  is  not  the  smallest  circum 
stance  I  can  think  of  which  I  would  have  wished  otherwise. 
Victoria  bore  the  great  fatigues  remarkably  well,  and  won 
the  hearts  of  all  by  her  endeavours  to  make  herself  agreeable 
to  the  people.  I  am  bound  to  praise  the  children  greatly. 
They  behaved  extremely  well,  and  pleased  everybody.  The 
task  was  no  easy  one  for  them,  but  they  discharged  it  with 
out  embarrassment,  and  with  natural  simplicity.  I  have 
found  the  black  shawl,  and  purpose  laying  it  at  your  feet  at 
Abergeldie — but  not  in  the  mud,  as  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  did 
his  cloak. 

'  Now  farewell !  Ever  and  always  your  devoted  nephew 
and  son. 

'Osborne,  29th  August,  1855.' 


1855  LETTER   TO  DUCHESS  OF  COBURG.  357 

Similar  acknowledgments  were  also  sent  by  the  Prince  the 
same  day  to  the  Dowager  Duchess  of  Coburg  : — 

( My  heart's  thanks  for  your  dear  lines,  and  good  wishes 
for  my  birthday,  which  completes  three  dozen  of  years  for 
me  !  They  reached  me  at  St.  Cloud.  The  beautiful  picture 
which  you  announce  will  give  me  great  pleasure,  as  every 
thing  does  that  comes  from  you.  The  26th  (being  Sunday) 
we  solemnised  in  English  quietude  under  the  Imperial  roof. 
Nineteen  years  ago  I  was  in  Paris  with  Ernest  and  Papa,  and 
I  have  not  been  there  since.  You  may  imagine  what  a 
strange  impression  so  many  changes  must  have  produced. 
Neuilly,  where  we  were  then  received,  now  lies  in  ruins,  and 
the  grass  grows  upon  its  site.  The  Duke  of  Orleans  was  then 
alive,  and  unmarried ;  Marie  and  Clementine,  daughters  of 
the  house ;  Nemours,  Aumale,  and  Montpensier  were  at 
school ;  Joinville  a  naval  cadet.  All  this  is  vanished  as  if 
before  the  wind,  and  in  its  stead  we  brought  with  us  two 
children,  almost  fully  grown. 

'  We  have  been  received  everywhere  with  incredible  enthu 
siasm,  and  cannot  say  enough  of  the  kindness  of  the  Emperor 
and  Empress.  We  anticipate  the  best  results  from  this  visit, 
foremost  among  which  must  be  the  persistent  prosecution  of 
the  war,  which  to  you  will  scarcely  appear  in  so  advantageous 
a  light.  .  .  . 

6  We  purpose  making  our  escape  on  the  5th  to  our  moun 
tain  home,  Balmoral.  We  are  sorely  in  want  of  the  moral 
rest,  and  the  bodily  exercise.3 

'  Osborne,  30th  August,  1855.' 

Halting  in  Edinburgh  for  a  night  upon  the  way,  the  Court 

3  '  After  that  magnificent  Paris,  with  all  its  splendour,  and  brilliancy,  and 
fetes,  &c.,  it  will  be  like  a  golden  dream  to  you,  when  you  are  in  the  Highlands 
amongst  hills,  and  woods,  and  glens,  but  it  will  be  very  refreshing,  and  quiet 
ing,  and  agreeable.  May  you  enjoy  it,  my  dearest  Victoria. — Letter  to  the 
Queen,  1st  September,  from  her  Sister  the  Princess  of  Hohenlohe-Langenburg. 


358  NEW  HOUSE  AT  BALMORAL.  1855 

reached  Balmoral  on  the  7th,  where  the  Queen  and  Prince 
found  the  principal  part  of  the  new  house  ready  for  their 
occupation,  and,  as  the  Prince  notes  in  his  Diary,  '  already 
very  comfortable.5  The  great  tower  was  half  up,  and  the 
wing  which  connects  it  with  the  body  of  the  castle  was 
roofed.  The  principal  terrace  was  also  completed,  but  large 
earthworks  still  remained  to  be  carried  out  in  the  hollow  in 
front  of  the  house.  Here  was  something  to  distract  the 
Prince's  attention  pleasantly  from  the  grave  desk  work  in 
which,  even  during  his  so-called  holiday,  so  much  of  his  time 
was  passed. 

'  Strange,  very  strange,  it  seemed  to  me,'  Her  Majesty  writes 
(Leaves  from  a  Journal),  l  to  drive  past,  indeed,  through,  the  old 
house,  the  connecting  part  between  it  and  the  offices  being 
broken  through.  The  new  house  is  beautiful.  .  .  .  An  old  shoe 
was  thrown  after  us  for  good  luck  when  we  entered  the  hall. 
The  house  is  charming,  the  rooms  delightful,  the  furniture, 
papers,  everything  perfection.  The  view  from  the  windows  of 
our  rooms,  and  from  the  library,  drawing-room,  &c.  below  them, 
of  the  valley  of  the  Dee,  with  the  mountains  in  the  background, 
which  one  could  never  see  from  the  old  house,  is  quite  beautiful.' 

The  new  house  was  soon  to  be  gladdened  by  good  news  from 
the  seat  of  war.  On  the  8th  came  intelligence  by  telegram, 
that  the  fire  upon  Sebastopol  had  been  re-opened  on  the  5th 
with  effect,  and  that  the  French  guns  had  destroyed  one  of 
the  ships  in  the  harbour.  Next  day  brought  news  of  the 
destruction  of  another  of  the  ships,  and  of  a  great  part  of  the 
city  being  on  fire.  A  succession  of  telegrams  on  the  1  Oth  told 
of  the  rapidly  approaching  close  of  a  struggle,  unparalleled  for 
the  tenacity  and  valour  on  both  sides  with  which  it  had  been 
carried  on.  First  came  one  from  General  Simpson,  dated 
eleven  P.M.  on  the  8th,  telling  that  the  Malakoff  was  in  pos 
session  of  the  French,  but  that  our  assault  on  the  Redan  had 
failed.  This  was  followed  by  another,  dated  10.9  A.M.  on  the 


1855  FALL   OF  SEVASTOPOL.  359 

9th,  announcing  that  Sebastopol  was  in  the  possession  of  the 
Allies,  and  that  the  south  side  of  the  town  had  been  evacuated 
by  the  enemy,  after  they  had  exploded  their  magazines  and 
set  fire  to  the  town.  Simultaneously  with  this  came  a 
telegram  from  Lord  Clarendon  to  the  Queen,  with  copy  of 
one  from  General  Pelissier,  dated  8  P.M.  on  the  9th,  stating 
that  the  Russians  had  sunk  their  steamers,  and  that  the 
city  was  one  vast  scene  of  conflagration.  Lastly  came  one 
announcing  that  Prince  Gortschakoff  had  asked  for  an  armis 
tice  to  enable  him  to  remove  the  remainder  of  his  wounded. 

In  the  Leaves  from  a  Journal  a  sketch  is  given  of  what 
passed  at  Balmoral  on  this  evening,  which  it  will  not  be  out 
of  place  to  recall  here.  The  time  is  after  dinner  :— 

'  All  were  in  constant  expectation  of  more  telegraphic  de 
spatches.  At  half-past  ten  o'clock  two  arrived,  one  for  me,  and 
one  for  Lord  Granville.  I  began  reading  mine,  which  was  from 
Lord  Clarendon,  with  details  from  Marshal  Pelissier  of  the 
further  destruction  of  the  Russian  ships  ;  and  Lord  Granville 
said,  "  I  have  still  better  news  ;  "  on  which  he  read,  "  From 
General  Simpson,  Sebastopol  is  in  the  liands  of  the  Allies."  God 
be  praised  for  it.  Our  delight  was  great ;  but  we  could  hardly 
believe  the  good  news,  and  from  having  so  long,  so  anxiously 
expected  it,  one  could  not  realise  the  actual  fact. 

'  Albert  said  they  should  go  at  once  and  light  the  bonfire  which 
had  been  prepared  when  the  false  report  of  the  fall  of  the  town 
arrived  last  year,  and  had  remained  ever  since,  waiting  to  be  lit. 
On  the  5th  of  November,  the  day  of  the  battle  of  Inkermann, 
the  wind  upset  it,  strange  to  say  ;  and  now  again,  most  strangely, 
it  only  seemed  to  wait  for  our  return  to  be  lit. 

'  The  new  house  seems  to  be  lucky  indeed,  for,  from  the  first 
moment  of  our  arrival,  we  have  had  good  news.  In  a  few 
minutes,  Albert  and  all  the  gentlemen,  in  every  species  of  attire, 
sallied  forth,  followed  by  all  the  servants,  and  gradually  by  all 
the  population  of  the  village — keepers,  gillies,  workmen — up  to 
the  top  of  the  cairn.  We  waited,  and  saw  them  light  the  bon 
fire  ;  accompanied  by  general  cheering.  It  blazed  forth  brilliantly, 
and  we  could  see  the  numerous  figures  surrounding  it — some 


360  FALL   OF  SEBASTOPOL.  1855 

dancing,  all  shouting — Ross  playing  his  pipes,  and  Grant  and 
Macdonald  firing  off  guns  continually.  .  .  .  About  three-quarters 
of  an  hour  after,  Albert  came  down,  and  said  the  scene  had  been 
wild  and  exciting  beyond  everything.  The  people  had  been 
drinking  healths  in  whisky,  and  were  in  great  ecstasy.  .  .  .  We 
remained  till  a  quarter  to  twelve  ;  and  just  as  I  was  undressing, 
all  the  people  came  down  under  the  windows,  the  pipes  playing, 
the  people  singing,  firing  off  guns,  and  cheering,  first  for  me, 
then  for  Albert,  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  and  "  the  downfall 
of  Sebastopol."  ' 

One  of  the  first  acts  of  the  Queen  was  to  telegraph  to  the 
Emperor  of  the  French  in  these  words  : 4  '  We  congratulate  the 
Emperor  with  all  our  hearts  on  the  glorious  news  of  the  fall 
of  Sebastopol,  which  we  know  will  give  him  as  much  pleasure 
and  satisfaction  as  it  does  to  us.  We  have  at  length  wit 
nessed  the  successful  result  of  all  our  labours  and  sufferings.' 
At  the  same  time  Lord  Panmure  was  requested  to  send  Her 
Majesty's  warmest  congratulations  to  General  Simpson  and 
General  Pelissier. 

To  Baron  Stockmar,  the  friend  with  whom  of  all  others 
he  would  most  have  wished  to  discuss  the  probable  results 
of  the  fall  of  Sebastopol,  the  Prince  wrote  as  fellows  : — 

( I  must  write  you  a  line,  as  I  cannot  pay  you  a  visit  in 
your  room,  to  share  my  joy  with  you  over  the  fall  of  Sebas 
topol.  Our  bonfire  on  Craig  Gowan,  opposite  the  house,  the 
setting  up  of  which  you  will  remember  when  the  false  news 
of  the  untraceable  Tatar  arrived,  and  which  to  our  sorrow 
we  had  to  leave  behind  us  when  we  left  Balmoral  last  year — 
which  was,  moreover,  blown  down  by  the  gale  on  the  5th  of 
November,  Inkermann  day,  and  found  by  us  on  our  return 
this  year  scattered  on  the  ground  in  melancholy  plight — 

4  On  the  8th  a  lunatic  named  Bellemarre  was  foiled  in  an  attempt  to 
assassinate  the  Emperor  at  the  door  of  the  Italian  Opera.  He  mistook  the 
carriage,  and  was  seized  before  he  could  fire  the  pistols,  of  which  he  had  one 
in  each  hand. 


i855  LETTER   TO  BARON  STOCKMAR.  361 

blazed  out  magnificently  about  eleven  o'clock  on  the  evening 
of  the  10th.  It  illuminated  all  the  peaks  round  about ;  and 
the  whole  scattered  population  of  the  valleys  understood 
the  sign,  and  made  for  the  mountain,  where  we  performed 
towards  midnight  a  veritable  Witches'  dance,  supported  by 
whisky. 

'  The  result  of  all  these  unspeakable  exertions  and  suffer 
ings  is  truly  gratifying  in  the  highest  sense.  We  are  still 
quite  without  details,  further  than  that  the  assault  upon  the 
8th  cost  us  alone  2,000  men  :  we  may  set  down  the  loss  of 
the  French  at  double  that  number,  because  they  delivered 
the  assault  at  three  points,  and  were  orily  able  to  take  the 
Malakoff.  The  Eussians  must  have  sustained  fearful  losses, 
as  to  which,  however,  they  will  probably  say  nothing.  The 
result  has  proved  that  those  people  were  quite  right  who  main 
tained  that  the  Malakoff  was  the  key  of  the  position.  Never 
theless,  from  September  of  las-t  year  till  the  end  of  February, 
the  French  besieged  the  west  side  merely,  and  our  troops  upon 
the  right  did  not  extend  so  as  to  overlap  the  Malakoff.  The 
siege  upon  the  right  dates,  therefore,  from  the  beginning  of 
March ;  but  it  was  the  end  of  May  before  the  French,  under 
Pelissier,  undertook  to  assault  the  Mamelon  and  the  outworks. 
Since  that  time  the  engineers'  work  has  made  constant  and 
rapid  progress,  and  had  advanced  to  within  ten  paces  of  the 
Malakoff.  (The  attack  of  the  18th  June  was  a  blundering 
episode,  prematurely  accelerated  by  the  success  of  the  7th.) 
Every  twenty-four  hours  cost  the  French,  however,  200  men, 
and  us  close  upon  60 !  This  being  the  case,  whatever  the  losses 
may  have  been  in  the  assault,  the  result  to  us  is  a  great  saving  of 
life,  when  we  take  into  account  how  much  we  gain  upon  the 
whole,  by  the  fact  of  the  entire  army  being  now  set  free.  Every 
twenty-four  hours'  cannonade  cost  the  Russians  1,000  men, 
because  they  were  necessarily  so  closely  packed  together.  A 
further  fact  ascertained  is,  that  the  vertical  fire  of  bombs  from 


362  STATE   OF  THE  ALLIED   ARMIES  1855 

mortars,  which  were  thought  to  have  been  superseded  by  the 
invention  of  Paixhans  and  horizontal  bombs,  is  nevertheless 
indispensable.  The  French,  as  well  as  ourselves,  have  since 
June  brought  a  number  into  line,  while  the  Eussians  had  very 
few ;  and,  over  and  above  this,  we  had  118  guns,  of  which  the 
smallest  calibre  was  thirty-two  pounds,  and  the  largest  eighty- 
six  pounds,  in  position,  and  the  French  about  200.  We  had 
89  mortars  (of  which  the  greatest  number  were  thirteen  inches 
diameter)  and  the  French  1 20.  It  is  not  easy  to  estimate  the 
guns  of  the  Eussians,  but  they  could  not  have  been  less  than 
800.  At  the  last  they  must  have  run  quite  out  of  ammu 
nition,  since  we  destroyed  their  foundries. 

'Poor  Seymour5  has  been  wounded  for  the  second  time  by 
a  fragment  of  a  grenade  at  the  back  of  the  head ;  still,  it 
is  only  a  flesh  wound,  and  he  will  get  over  it.  What  the 
Generals  will  do  now,  we  cannot  tell.  I  hope  they  will  not 
rest  till  they  have  driven  the  Eussians  fairly  out  of  the 
Crimea.  I  imagine  they  will  not  retain  the  north  side  long, 
for  they  would  have  quite  the  same  difficulty  on  the  north 
side  in  finding  supplies  as  they  had  in  provisioning  the 
garrison  of  the  city,  without  any  compensation  for  their  pains 
beyond  that  of  being  able  to  contemplate  the  lost  city  and 
the  shattered  fleet.  I  would  embark  80,000  men  with  all 
possible  despatch,  and  march  from  Eupatoria  upon  the  Strait 
of  Perekop  or  Simpheropol,  and  so  either  capture  the  whole 
disorganised  army,  or  force  it  to  a  disastrous  (unh&Uvollen) 
retreat.  The  Eussian  army  is  frightfully  demoralised 
(angegri/en\ 

4  Except  the   first   corps  cVarmee,  and  the  Guards,   and 
perhaps  the  half  of  the  Grenadiers,  all  the  corps  d'armee  are 
in  the  Crimea.     Thirteen   divisions  of  infantry,  6  battalions 
of  reserve,  8  ditto    rifles,  30,000  men,  sailors,  and  marines, 

5  Now  General  Sir  Francis    Seymour,  the   same  who,    our  readers   may 
remember,  accompanied  the  Prince  in  his  tour  in  Italy  in  1839. 


1855  /Ar  THE   CRIMEA.  363 

52  batteries  of  foot  artillery,  8  batteries  of  horse  artillery, 
with  64  guns,  and  22,000  cavalry  (including  Cossacks),  have 
at  different  times  been  sent  in ;  and,  counting  in  10,000 
militia,  the  strength  of  the  Eussian  army  in  the  Crimea  at 
the  present  time  scarcely  comes  up  to  130,000,  and  these  not 
in  the  best  condition!  Our  forces  are  110,000  French, 
35,000  English,  12,000  Sardinians,  54,000  Turks.  What  we 
want  is  a  united  command. 

6  Politics  on  the  Continent  are  now  likely  to  incline  more 
decidedly  towards  the  Western  Powers,  and  Austria  should 
have  every  reason  to  feel  a  marked  increase  in  her  courage. 
I  have  read  Diezel's  last  pamphlet  on  the  formation  of  a 
National  Party  in  Grermany  with  the  greatest  interest.  It 
contains  so  much  that  is  true,  and  is  written  with  so  much 
clearness  and  moderation,  and  at  the  same  time  with  so  much 
spirit,  that  it  cannot  fail  to  produce  a  decided  effect.*5 

'  Prince  Fritz  William  comes  here  to-morrow  evening.  I 
have  received  a  very  friendly  letter  from  the  Princess  of 
Prussia. 

'Balmoral,  13th  September,  1855.' 

While  all  were  waiting  anxiously  for  the  details  of  what 
had  led  to  the  fall  of  Sebastopol,  Lord  Clarendon  forwarded 
to  the  Queen  a  communication  he  had  received  from  the 
Duke  of  Newcastle  written  on  the  30th  of  August  from  the 
camp  there.  It  went  in  very  great  detail  into  the  state  of 
the  Allied  armies,  and  the  manner  in  which  they  were  handled, 
and,  unluckily  for  the  character  of  the  Duke  as  a  prophet, 
was  more  of  the  nature  of  a  Jeremiad  of  coming  woe  and 

6  'I  have  been  reading  a  very  excellent  new  "brochure"  by  Diezel :  '•'•Die 
~BVdimg  einer  Rationalen  Parted  in  Deutschland ;  eine  Nothwendigkeit  in  der 
jetzigcn  Crisis  Europrfs"  I  am  afraid  they  will  suppress  it  in  most  parts  of 
poor  Germany.  .  .  .  There  are  Albert's  words  in  it ;  but  of  what  use  to  our 
miserable  people?  Still  it  is  written  and  printed,  and  I  shall  do  my  best  to 
make  it  circulate.  Oh,  if  I  could  but  be  a  champion  of  liberty  to  my  country  I* 
— Letter  fr,om  the  Queen's  Sister  to.  the  Que^n^.  1st  September,  !So5. 


364  LETTER   OF  DUKE   OF  NEWCASTLE.  1855 

disaster,  than  the  herald  of  the  victory  so  soon  to  follow.7 
Both  Commanders-in-chief  were  equally  condemned.  General 
Simpson  appears  '  never  to  be  doing,  always  mooning.  He 
has  no  plan,  no  opinion,  no  hope  but  from  the  chapter  of 
accidents.'  The  command  of  the  French  army,  added  the 
Duke,  '  is  in  hands  quite  as  unfit.  I  believe  Pelissier's  officers 
have  no  ^confidence  in  him,  and  I  know  his  soldiers  dislike 
him.'  In  short,  according  to  the  Duke,  the  Eussians  would 
quite  possibly  blow  up  the  south  side  of  Sebastopol,  but 
certainly  we  had  no  plan  for  taking  it,  if  it  was  not  given. 
The  Duke  had  no  good  to  say  of  any  of  the  armies,  except 
that  of  the  Sardinians  under  General  La  Marmora ;  but  he 
concluded  his  long  indictment,  by  asking  Lord  Clarendon  to 
read  it 

1  With  full  allowance  for  the  feelings  of  a  man,  who  sees  little 
that  is  cheering  out  here  but  British  valour  and  good  conduct, 
and  who,  when  he  looks  back  to  his  country,  sees  little  else  than 
British  failure  and  misconduct.  I  am  grieved  beyond  measure 
at  what  has  occurred  at  home  since  I  left  it.  If  I  had  not  chil 
dren  at  home,  and  a  name  to  support  in  my  own  country,  I  should 
linger  long  in  Circassia,  or  anywhere  else,  for  I  see  no  chance  of 
public  usefulness  in  such  a  state  of  things  as  we  are  now  reduced 
to.  I  often  think  of  our  dear  Queen,  and  feel  how  completely 
she  is,  not  only  our  main,  but  our  only  stay.  There  is  still 
some  little  chivalry  and  much  loyalty  in  England ;  and  the 
throne,  occupied  as  it  now  is,  may  keep  us  above  the  waters,  but 
there  is  no  longer  buoyancy  in  any  public  men.  Never  at  any 
former  time  was  the  country  without  a  man  whom,  rightly  or 

7  There  were  croaking  prophets  at  home  to  whom  the  fall  of  Sebastopol 
was  an  unwelcome  surprise.  In  a  letter  from  Lord  Palmerston  (20th  of 
September)  to  Lord  Clarendon,  of  which  there  is  a  copy  among  the  Prince's 
papers,  he  says,  speaking  of  another  false  prophecy,  that  it  was  like  an  eminent 
statesman's  (whom  he  names)  '  confident  declarations  made  a  few  days  before 
he  heard  of  the  fall  of  Sebastopol,  that  the  town  would  never  be  taken. 
Many  people,  especially  statesmen  out  of  place,  have  a  wonderful  fancy  for 
making  prophecies.  The  wise  thing  is  to  deal  with  circumstances  as  they 
arise,  and  not  to  be  always  foretelling  what  is  to  happen,  remembering, 
however,  to  make  timely  provision  for  the  various  events  that  may  happen.' 


1855  PRINCE'S  REMARKS  UPON  IT.  365 

wrongly,  it  looked  upon  with  hope.  Now  we  are  all  more  or 
less  discredited.  Your  Government  is  weak,  and  by  no  means 
popular,  but  the  public  has  no  favourites,  whom,  it  wishes  to  see 
in  your  places.' 

In  sending  the  Duke  of  Newcastle's  letter  to  the  Queen 
Lord  Clarendon  sent  with  it  a  letter  to  himself  from  Lord 
Panmure,  with  his  remarks  on  the  Duke's  criticisms.  The 
news  from  Sebastopol  was  the  best  antidote  to  any  discourage 
ment  the  Duke's  letter,  obviously  meant  for  the  Cabinet  as  it 
was,  might  have  inspired,  and  Lord  Panmure  was  able  to  dis 
pose  of  his  complaints  about  the  shortcomings  in  supplies 
of  ammunition,  clothing,  stores,  &c.,  by  the  announcement 
that  they  had  all  been  anticipated  and  provided  for. 

On  the  17th  of  September,  the  Prince  wrote,  on  behalf  of 
the  Queen,  to  Lord  Clarendon,  returning  this  correspondence, 
which  he  says  they  had  read  with  much  interest.  Some 
portions  of  this  letter  have  a  permanent  value  :— 

6 1  am  sorry,'  the  Prince  writes,  6  that  the  Duke  ever  wrote 
this  letter.  It  is  at  all  times  hazardous  for  one  going  into  a 
camp  and  picking  up  information  from  this  or  that  person, 
and  listening  to  the  different  stories  flying  about  there,  to 
give  an  opinion  upon  plans  of  operation,  military  system,  the 
merit  of  different  men  in  command,  but  it  was  particularly 
so  for  the  Duke,  who  fell  quite  into  the  ways  of  "  our  own 
correspondent,"  and  from  very  much  the  same  causes.  This 
siege  has  been  an  anomalous  one  in  every  way,  and  my  as 
tonishment  is,  that  the  troops  have  borne  350  days'  incessant 
hard  fighting  with  every  possible  discomfort,  and  deaths  at 
the  rate  of  from  18  to  19,000  men  during  that  period,  without 
grumbling  at  their  commanders  and  Government  much  more. 

'  When  the  Duke  speaks  of  the  want  of  plan  at  the  time  he 
wrote,  it  is  nonsense,  and  the  result  has  shown  it.  The  only 
plan  ever  gone  upon  since  May  was  to  work  up  to  the 
Malakoff  and  take  it;  which  would  cause  the  fall  of  the  town, 


366  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE  1855 

but  could  not  be  done  without  the  Kedan  being  equally 
attacked,  and  the  batteries  on  the  Sapoune  being  pushed 
sufficiently  down  to  reach  the  shipping.  This  was  an  opera 
tion  of  the  greatest  difficulty,  costing  the  French  200,  and  us 
60  men  a  night.  Yet  it  was  nobly  persevered  in.  Now  you 
may  say,  this  was  done  by  the  troops,  and  was  no  merit  of 
the  commanders.  Quite  true.  But  it  had  to  be  done,  and 
the  'commanders  could  not  get  the  town  in  any  other  way. 
If  they  committed  a  fault,  it  was  that  of  allowing  the  French 
to  besiege  the  west  side  from  October  till  March,  whilst  we 
could  only  go  on  with  half  the  east  side,  ending  opposite  the 
Malakoff,  which  our  engineers,  however,  pointed  out  all  along 
as  the  key  of  the  position. 

'  That  the  commanders  seem  now  to  be  without  a  plan  is 
lamentable.  But  even  this  must  be  pronounced  upon  with 
hesitation,  as  we  know  nothing  of  the  condition  of  the  two 
armies  since  the  assault,  and  their  combined  nature  will  make 
it  exceedingly  difficult  to  allot  the  parts,  and  organise  an 
army  for  the  field.  I  hope  to  God,  it  won't  be  a  combined 
one  again,  but  an  army  (however  organised)  entrusted  to  one 
leader.  But  this  will  be  full  of  difficulty  with  Turks,  Sar 
dinians,  French,  and  English.  Pelissier  cannot  ride  (from  his 
size),  Simpson  is  too  old,  and  also  deficient  as  a  horseman. 
Omar  Pasha  is  not  trusted  by  the  French,  and  is  certainly 
cautious.  La  Marmora  has  no  claim  to  command  the  army. 

'  The  contrast  which  the  Duke  establishes  between  the 
Sardinian  army  and  ours  is  most  unfair.  ...  It  has  not  done 
a  -day's  work  in  the  trenches,  and  but  for  the  16th  (on  the 
Tschernaja)  would  not  have  heard  a  shot  fired.  Of  course,  it 
used  the  three  months'  rest  and  leisure  to  organise  itself  as 
well  as  possible,  and  still  fell  a  greater  victim  to  cholera  than 
any  other  force  out  there.  However,  all  accounts  agree  in 
representing  the  Sardinians  as  very  fine  troops.  They  have 
the  inestimable  advantage,  that  they  are  commanded,  like 


1 85 5  ABOUT  THE   CRIMEAN  WAR.  367 

ours,  by  gentlemen,  but  have  the  great  advantage  over  us, 
that  these  gentlemen  put  the  soldier  above  the  gentleman, 
whilst  from  our  constitutional  history  and  national  habits,  the 
soldier  is  disliked,  the  officer  almost  seeks  to  excuse  himself 
for  being  an  officer,  by  assuming  as  unsoldierlike  a  garment 
and  manner  as  he  possibly  can.  The  Sardinians  would  speak 
of  a  soldierlike  gentleman  (the  impression  La  Marmora  made 
upon  the  Duke),  whilst  we  speak  of  a  gentlemanlike  officer, 
like  General  Estcourt,  Lord  Burghersh,  &c.  &c.  All  our 
civilian  interference,  now  the  increasing  fashion,  necessarily 
must  tend  to  increase  this  evil,  which  may  finally  cause  the 
ruin  of  our  army.  .  .  . ' 

The  Duke  of  Newcastle,  in  the  letter  which  we  have  quoted, 
and  in  others  addressed  by  him  from  the  camp  to  Lord 
Clarendon,  called  himself  a  grumbler,  but,  if  so,  he  was  a 
grumbler  of  no  common  sort.  He  told  his  impressions  only  to 
the  Government,  and  in  the  belief,  that  by  doing  so  he  might 
help  them  in  the  task,  of  which  he  had  so  well  known  the 
burden.  '  If  I  consulted  my  own  interest,'  he  wrote,  '  I  should 
either  hold  my  tongue  altogether,  or  publish  abroad  all  I 
write  to  you  privately,  and  thus  procure  the  character  of  an 
"  Administrative  .Reformer,"  but  I  wish  to  do  some  good  if  I 
can,  though  I  confess  I  feel  that  the  time  for  my  doing  so  has 
gone  by.'  By  the  time  he  wrote  this,  he  had  seen  the  attack 
on  the  Malakoff,  the  success  of  which  he  imputed  solely  to 
the  accident  of  the  Eussians  being  surprised  by  it,  at  the  time 
they  had  withdrawn  from  the  tower  for  dinner.  He  also 
witnessed  the  assault  on  the  Eedan,  that  promised  at  first  so 
well,  but  was  turned  to  failure  from  the  inexperience  of  the 
troops,  'gabion  fighters  and  raw  boys,'  as  he  called  them, 
engaged  in  it,  and  a  failure  to  back  it  up  by  sufficient 
numbers  even  of  these.8  The  Duke  also  rode  through  the  city, 

8  Of  the  officers  lie  says:  'They  fought  as  English  gentlemen,  I  hope,  ever 
will  fight  under  any  discouragement,  and  in  any  struggle,  be  it  ever  so  hopeless  ; 


368  TAKING   OF  SEBASTOPOL  1855 

on  the  10th,  while  the  heat  of  the  burning  buildings  was  still 
'  so  great  as  to  be  suffocating,'  and  marvelled  at  the  rapidity 
and  completeness  of  the  ruin  which  fire  had  wrought  on  a 
city  entirely  built  of  stone.  Looking  at  the  remains  of  its 
beauty,  its  magnificent  docks,  its  stately  barracks,  he  exclaims, 
'  Verily,  this  is  a  heavy  blow  to  the  pride  of  Eussia ! '  It  was 
a  strange  caprice  of  fortune  that  the  Minister,  who  had 
penned  the  despatch  which  directed  the  expedition  to  Sebas- 
topol,  and  who  had  been  driven  from  office  on  the  groundless 
suspicion  of  lukewarmness  in  prosecuting  the  campaign, 
should  enter  the  blazing  city  with  our  victorious  troops.  And 
what  were  the  last  words  of  the  same  letter  of  this  lukewarm 
advocate  of  the  war  ?  '  I  am  more  than  ever  convinced, 
that  we  have  only  to  go  on  and  conquer.  They  will  not 
wait  for  us  to  take  the  north  side,  if  we  show  a  resolve  to 
have  it.' 

Such,  however,  was  not  the  view  of  the  Commanders-in- 
chief,  and  in  his  next  letter  to  Lord  Clarendon  (15th  Sep 
tember),  the  Duke  resumes  his  wail  of  lamentation  at  their 
want  of  energy.  '  We  are  stupefied  with  unexpected,  and,  in 
one  sense,  undeserved  success — paralysed  with  victory  ! — so 

and  say  what  "Jacob  Omnium,"  or  any  other  journalist  may,  there  were  gallant 
lads  of  17  and  18  that  day,  who  led  on  their  men  as  no  bayonet  officer,  fine 
fellows  as  many  of  them  are,  ever  can  or  will.  Alas!  not  one  of  these  noble 
boys,  I  fear,  returned  alive,  and  in  their  rank,  and  at  their  age,  not  one  of  them 
could  have  been  spirited  on  to  deeds  of  untold  heroism  by  any  other  means  than 
love  of  their  honour  and  a  high  sense  of  duty  to  their  Queen  and  their  country.' 
As  to  the  men,  to  whom  the  terrible  task  of  storming  the  Redan  was  entrusted, 
this  is  what  was  said  of  them  in  a  letter  (llth  of  September)  to  Colonel  Phipps 
from  a  distinguished  officer  of  the  Guards  :  '  Nothing  could  be  better  than  the 
way  in  which  our  stormers  led  into  the  Redan,  and,  from  all  I  hear,  nothing  could 
be  much  worse  than  the  manner  in  which  the  supports  not  only  hesitated,  but 
declined  to  follow  their  officers.  It  is  the  old  story,  England  annihilates  all 
her  old  soldiers  in  a  first  campaign,  and  then  is  fain  to  believe  the  specious 
twaddle  of  the  newspapers,  that  they  can  be  replaced  by  the  half-grown,  ha'f- 
drilled  boys  that  come  here  as  recruits.  One  regiment  of  old  soldiers  would 
have  taken  the  Redan  in  half-an-hour,  and  we  could  then  have  claimed  half 
the  victory  as  ours.'  These  are  words  that  cannot  surely  be  too  firmly  kept 
before  the  eyes  of  military  reformers. 


1855  NOT  FOLLOWED   UP.  369 

astounded  and  stunned  by  our  triumph,  that  we  are  motion 
less — apparently  incapable  of  counsel,  as  we  are  of  action.' 
This  conclusion  was  shared  by  the  Government  at  home. 
The  absolute  want  of  initiative  on  the  part  of  Generals  Simp 
son  and  Pelissier  seemed  to  them  incomprehensible.  As  the 
Queen  wrote  to  Lord  Panmure  (2nd  October),  '  there  may  be 
good  reasons  why  the  army  should  not  move,  but  we  have 
only  one  ....  When  General  Simpson  telegraphed  before, 
that  he  must  wait  to  know  the  intentions  and  plans  of  the 
Russians,  the  Queen  was  tempted  to  advise  a  reference  to 
St.  Petersburg  for  them  ! '  The  Duke  of  Newcastle  found 
his  impatience  at  this  waiting  policy  becoming  so  intolerable, 
that  he  could  not  bear  longer  to  be  an  eyewitness  of  it.  '  I 
am  becoming  such  a  grumbler,'  he  wrote,  '  that  I  will  leave 
this  place  immediately,  and  I  hope  my  next  to  you  will  be 
from  Circassia  ! ' s 

But  while  the  great  crisis,  at  which  the  war  had  now  ar 
rived,  was  engaging  the  anxious  attention  not  merely  of  the 
Cabinet,  but  also  of  the  Queen  and  Prince,  a  domestic  event 
was  in  progress,  than  which  none  could  come  more  closely 
home  to  their  hearts — the  betrothal  of  their  eldest  child.  On 
the  13th  of  September  the  Prince,  as  we  have  seen,  had 
written  to  Baron  Stockrnar,  '  the  Prince  Fritz  William  comes 


9  The  information  obtained  from  the  Kussians  themselves,  after  peace  was 
concluded,  showed  that  the  civilians  were  right,  and  the  Commanders-iu-chiof 
wrong.  Many  proofs  of  this  are  before  us  ;  but  we  have  only  space  to  cite 
what  was  said  on  this  subject  by  Sir  Edmund  Lyons.  He  visited  Sebastopol 
in  July  18o6,  when  he  had  opportunities  of  free  communication  with  Russian 
officers  as  to  the  events  of  the  siege.  Writing  to  General  Grey  on  the  28th 
of  that  month,  he  says :— '  The  Eussians  admit,  that  if  we  had  sent  30,000 
men  to  Nicolaieff,  and  20,000  men  to  Kaffa  and  Arabat,  as  poor  Bruat  and  I 
urged  Pelissier  to  do,  immediately  after  the  fall  of  the  south  side,  success  at 
both  places  wauld  have  been  certain.'  And  again  : — '  They  admitted  un 
hesitatingly  that  if  we  had  threatened  a  landing  between  Sebastopol  and 
Kupatoria  after  the  fall  of  the  south  side,  they  would  have  left  the  Crimea  by 
all  the  practicable  routes  ;  but,  as  you  know,  Pelissier  laughed  me  to  scorn 
for  proposing  it.' 

VOL.  III.  B  B 


370          PRINCE  FREDERICK   WILLIAM  SEEKS         1855 

here  to-morrow  evening.'  The  old  man's  heart  doubtless  beat 
more  quickly  than  usual,  as  he  read  the  words,  for  it  had 
long  been  his  hope  to  see  this  young  Prince  united  to  the 
Princess  Koyal — the  child  of  his  special  regard — and  an 
alliance  thus  cemented  between  England  and  the  only  other 
great  Protestant  State  of  Europe.  The  young  people  were 
known  to  each  other,  and  Prince  Frederick  William  came 
prepared  with  the  consent  of  his  parents  and  of  the  King  of 
Prussia  to  ask  for  the  hand  of  the  Princess  on  whom  his 
heart  had  for  some  time  been  set.  We  can  picture  the 
pleasure  with  which  Baron  Stockmar  read  the  following 
passage  in  a  letter  from  the  Prince  :— 

'  Now  for  the  "  bonne  bouche  !  "  The  event  you  are  in 
terested  in  reached  an  active  stage  this  morning  after  break 
fast.  The  young  man  laid  his  proposal  before  us  with  the 
permission  of  his  parents,  and  of  the  King ;  we  accepted  it 
for  ourselves,  but  requested  him  to  hold  it  in  suspense  as 
regards  the  other  party  till  after  her  Confirmation.  Till  then 
all  the  simple  unconstraint  of  girlhood  is  to  continue  un 
disturbed.  In  the  spring  the  young  man  wishes  to  make  his 
offer  to  herself,  and  possibly  to  come  to  us  along  with  his 
parents  and  his  engaged  sister.  The  seventeenth  birthday  is 
to  have  elapsed  before  the  actual  marriage  is  thought  of,  and 
this  will  therefore  not  come  off  till  the  following  spring. 

'  The  secret  is  to  be  kept  tant  bien  gue  mal,  the  parents 
and  the  King  being  informed  of  the  true  state  of  the  case 
forthwith — namely,  that  we,  the  parents  and  the  young  man, 
are  under  a  pledge,  so  far  as  such  pledge  is  possible,  and  that 
the  young  lady  herself  is  to  be  asked  after  her  Confirmation. 
In  the  meantime  there  will  be  much  to  discuss  ;  and  I  would 
entreat  of  you  to  come  to  us  soon,  that  we  may  talk  over 
matters  face  to  face,  and  hear  what  you  have  to  advise.  The 
young  gentleman  is  to  leave  us  again  on  the  28th.  In  this 


i Ss 5         THE  PRINCESS  ROYAL  IN  MARRIAGE.          371 

matter  he  placed  himself  at  our  disposal ;  and  I  suggested 
fourteen  days  as  not  too  long  and  not  too  short  for  a  visit  of 
the  kind.  I  have  been  much  pleased  with  him.  His  chiefly 
prominent  qualities  are  great  straightforwardness,  frankness, 
and  honesty.  He  appears  to  be  free  from  prejudices,  and 
pre-eminently  well-intentioned ;  he  speaks  of  himself  as 
personally  greatly  attracted  by  Vicky.  That  she  will  have 
no  objection  to  make,  I  regard  as  probable.' 

'Balmoral,  20th  September,  1855.' 

The  next  day  Prince  Albert  was  seized  with  an.  attack  of 
rheumatism  in  the  left  shoulder,  from  which  he  suffered  for 
some  time  most  acutely.  '  I  have  endured  frightful  torture,' 
is  the  entry  in  his  Diary  on  the  22nd.  On  the  23rd,  '  not 
much  better.'  On  the  25th,  '  I  continue  to  suffer  terribly.' 
To  this  attack,  significant  of  derangement  of  the  health  from 
the  too  great  strain  upon  the  system,  caused  by  continued 
work  and  anxiety,  the  Prince  refers  in  his  next  letter  to 
Baron  Stockmar  :— 

'  If  I  have  not  written  to  you  for  a  week,  this  has  arisen 
from  my  not  being  able  to  hold  a  pen,  and  even  now  I  shall 
only  be  able  to  manage  it  but  indifferently.  I  have  had  a 
regular  attack  of  lumbago  ( Hexenschuss)  in  my  right 
shoulder,  wi+h  spasms  in  the  right  arm,  which  made  it  all 
but  impossible  for  me  to  move,  and,  worse  than  all,  caused 
me  nights  of  sleeplessness  arid  pain.  Now  I  am  better  again, 
though  still  "  a  cripple." 

4  Victoria  is  greatly  excited — still  all  goes  smoothly  and 
prudently.  The  Prince  is  really  in  love,  and  the  little 
lady  does  her  best  to  please  him.  .  .  .  The  day  after 
to-morrow  the  young  gentleman  takes  his  departure.  We 
have  to-day  received  the  answers  from  Coblenz,10  where  they 

10  Where  the  Crown  Prince  and  Princess  of  Prussia  were  at  the  time. 

B   B   2 


372  BETROTHAL   OF  PRINCESS  ROYAL  1855 

are  in  raptures  ;  the  communication  has  been  made  to  the 
King  at  Stolzenfels,  and  has  been  hailed  by  him  with  cordial 
satisfaction.  They  are  quite  at  one  with  us  as  to  the  post 
ponement  of  the  betrothal  till  after  the  Confirmation,  and  of 
the  marriage  till  after  the  seventeenth  birthday. 

'  Lord  Clarendon  sends  warm  congratulations  on  the  alli 
ance,  and  has  heard  the  highest  encomiums  on  the  young 
man.  Lord  Palmerston  says,  "  He  trusts  that  the  event, 
when  it  takes  place,  will  contribute  as  much  to  the  happiness 
of  those  more  immediately  concerned,  and  to  the  comfort  of 
Your  Majesty  and  the  Eoyal  family,  as  it  undoubtedly  will  to 
the  interests  of  the  two  countries  and  of  Europe  in  general." 
Now,  however,  you  must  come  to  us,  for  we  have  very  much 
to  talk  over.' 

'Balmoral,  28th  September,  1855.' 

To  keep  the  secret  from  the  young  lady,  as  first  proposed, 
was  obviously  impossible.  '  On  devine  ceux  qui  vous  aimentj 
as  the  Emperor  of  the  French  said  in  his  letter  to  the  Prince 
quoted  at  the  beginning  of  this  chapter.  What  happened  on 
the  morrow  is  thus  told  in  The  Leaves  from  a  Journal  :— 

'29th  September,  1855. 

'  Our  dear  Victoria  was  this  day  engaged  to  Prince  Frederick 
William  of  Prussia,  who  had  been  on  a  visit  to  us  since  the  14th. 
He  had  already  spoken  to  us,  on  the  20th,  of  his  wishes  ;  but 
we  were  uncertain,  on  account  of  her  extreme  youth,  whether 
he  should  speak  to  her  himself,  or  wait  till  he  came  back  again. 
However,  we  felt  it  was  better  he  should  do  so,  and  during  our 
ride  up  Craig-na-I>an  this  afternoon,  he  picked  a  piece  of  white 
heather  (the  emblem  of  "  good  luck  ")  which  he  gave  to  her  ; 
and  this  enabled  him  to  make  an  allusion  to  his  hopes  and  wishes 
as  they  rode  down  Glen  Girnocli,  which  led  to  this  happy  con 
clusion.' 

In  the  following  letter  the  Prince  continues  to  his  friend 
the  story  of  the  betrothal :— 


1855  AND  PRINCE  FREDERICK   WILLIAM.  373 

'  Prince  Fritz  William  left  us  yesterday.  Vicky  has  indeed 
behaved  quite  admirably,  as  well  during  the  closer  explana 
tion  on  Saturday,  as  in  the  self-command  which  she  dis 
played  subsequently  and  at  the  parting.  She  manifested 
towards  Fritz  and  ourselves  the  most  child-like  simplicity 
and  candour,  and  the  best  feeling.  The  young  people  are 
ardently  in  love  with  one  another,  and  the  purity,  innocence, 
and  unselfishness  of  the  young  man  have  been  on  his  part 
equally  touching  ....  Abundance  of  tears  were  shed. 
While  deep  visible  revolutions  in  the  emotional  natures  of 
the  two  young  people  and  of  the  mother  were  taking  place, 
by  which  they  were  powerfully  agitated,  my  feeling  was 
rather  one  of  cheerful  satisfaction  and  gratitude  to  Grod,  for 
bringing  across  our  path  so  much  that  was  noble  and  good, 
where  it  may,  nay  must,  conduce  to  the  happiness  for  life  of 
those  whom  He  has  endowed  with  those  qualities,  and  who 
are  in  themselves  so  dear  to  me. 

'  The  real  object  of  my  writing  to  you  now  is  to  enclose 
Vicky's  letter  to  you,  which  goes  with  this,  and  in  which 
the  child  finds  vent  for  her  own  feelings.  Let  me  once 
more  adjure  you  to  come  to  us  soon.  We  have  so  much  to 
talk  over. 

'  At  Sebastopol  our  Generals  appear  to  be  suffering  under 
a  remarkable  lack  of  brains.  There  are  good  builders  there, 
at  any  rate,  for  our  people  are  unable  to  make  a  breach  any 
where  .  .  .  . ' 

'  I  am  tortured  and  tormented  with  rheumatism,  and  can 
scarcely  hold  the  pen. 

'Balmoral,  2nd  October,  1855.' 

Such  an  event  as  that  which  had  just  occurred  in  the 
Royal  home  was  sure,  somehow  or  other,  despite  every  effort 
at  secrecy,  to  get  wind.  Surmise  had  already  been  busy 
with  the  name  of  the  young  Prussian  prince  ;  and  now  The 


374  ATTACK  IN  <  THE   TIMES'  1855 


,  in  a  leading  article  on  the  3rd  of  October,  spoke  of 
the  projected  alliance  in  language  as  little  considerate  to  the 
feelings  of  the  Sovereign  and  her  husband,  or  of  the  young 
people  themselves,  as  it  was  insulting  to  the  Prussian  King 
and  nation,  and  indeed,  to  all  Germany.  To  this  the  Prince 
alludes  in  the  following  letter  :— 

6  Dear  Stockmar,  —  Your  long  letter  reached  me  safely  two 
days  ago.  Since  then  you  will  have  received  so  much  news 
from  here  that  there  is  no  longer  occasion  to  answer  much  of 
what  you  say  in  it.  Still,  I  am  anxious  to  omit  nothing  that 
is  essential  to  your  full  knowledge  of  the  affair.  .  .  .  The 
present  position  of  the  business  is  this.  The  son's  offer,  and 
our  acceptance,  in  so  far  as  we  ourselves  are  concerned,  has 
been  communicated  to  the  parents  in  writing,  and  in  my 
letter  to  the  Prince's  father  I  requested  him  to  inform  the 
uncle  [the  King],  in  our  name,  how  thoroughly  we  regard  his 
support  of  his  nephew's  proposal  as  a  proof  of  his  friendship, 
and  to  say  that  our  sole  reason  for  not  writing  to  himself 
is,  that  we  wish  the  offer  to  the  Princess  herself  postponed  till 
after  the  Confirmation.  What  has  taken  place  since  has 
certainly  altered  the  position  of  matters  at  home,  still  we  see 
much  political  and  personal  convenience  in  adhering,  as  far 
as  others  are  concerned,  to  the  position  which  was  originally 
taken  up.  .  .  .  For  any  public  declaration  of  betrothal  we 
are  at  present  quite  unprepared.  We  have  not  yet  had  an 
opportunity  of  speaking  with  any  of  our  Ministers  ;  we  must 
deal  circumspectly  towards  France. 

'  The  Times  has  fired  off  an  article  (on  the  3rd)  that  is  at 
once  truly  scandalous  in  itself  and  degrading  to  the  country, 
with  a  view  to  provoke  hostile  public  opinion,  but  happily  it 
has  excited  universal  disgust  by  its  extravagance  and  dis 
courtesy.  Victoria  has  written  to  our  Ally,  and  expressed 
to  him  our  hopes  for  Vicky's  future  as  a  proof  of  personal 


i855  ON  THE  PROPOSED  MARRIAGE  375 

confidence,  and  I  doubt  not  he  will  acknowledge  it  as  such. 
A  sense  of  decorum  demands  that  the  affair  should  not 
be  publicly  discussed  before  the  Confirmation.  In  the 
meantime  we  shall  have  leisure  to  arrange  whatever  is  right. 
Your  good  counsel  at  our  elbow  is  indispensably  necessary 
for  us,  so  come  to  us  as  soon  as  your  health  will  let  you.  The 
secret,  as  you  say,  will  be  no  secret,  but  no  one  will  have  any 
right  to  talk  of  the  affair  publicly.  The  Eoyal  family  here 
know  what  every  one  knows — viz.  that  a  preliminary  offer 
has  been  made,  and  that  it  is  to  be  renewed  after  Easter. 
'Balmoral,  7th  October,  1855.' 

The  Times'  article  was  one  of  the  worst  of  a  series,  by  which 
the  leading  journal  had  done  its  best  to  make  England  de 
tested  throughout  Grerinany — a  result  not  to  be  wondered  at, 
when  the  tone  and  language  are  considered,  which  the  writers, 
professing  to  represent  English  opinion,  thought  proper  to 
adopt.  To  talk  of  Prussia,  as  this  article  did,  as  a  '  paltry 
German  dynasty,'  which  could  not  f  survive  the  downfall  of 
Russian  influence,'  showed  as  little  political  sagacity  as  good 
taste.  It  was  hard  enough  for  a  nation  to  have  to  bear  with 
the  weak,  but  well-meaning  Sovereign,  then  upon  the  throne. 
That  contempt  should  be  poured  upon  themselves  and  upon 
the  scions  of  the  Royal  House,  to  whom  they  justly  looked 
forward  to  assert  for  them  in  due  time  a  dignified  position 
among  the  other  States  of  Europe,  was  intolerable. 

The  young  Prince  Frederick  William  and  his  father  were 
notoriously  hostile  to  the  principles  of  the  party  at  Berlin, 
which  had  done  its  best  to  prostrate  Prussia  at  the  feet  of 
the  Czar.  But  it  suited  the  purpose  of  the  journalist  to 
speak  of  the  future  husband  of  the  English  Princess  Royal, 
as  destined  to  enter  the  Russian  service,  '  and  to  pass  these 
years  which  flattering  anticipation  now  destines  to  a  crown 
in  ignominious  attendance  as  a  general  officer  on  the  levee 


376  DIRECTED  AGAINST  THE  PRINCE.  1855 

of  his  Imperial  master,  having  lost  even  the  privilege  of  his 
birth,  which  is  conceded  to  no  German  in  Russia.'  In  the 
same  spirit  ,the  English  people  were  asked  to  contemplate 
the  probability  of  their  Princess  becoming  anti-English  in 
feeling,  and  being  sent  back  to  them  at  no  distant  date  as 
'  an  exile  and  a  fugitive.' 

It  was  too  palpable  to  escape  notice,  at  whom,  under 
cover  of  this  attack  on  Prussia,  the  blow  was  really  intended 
to  be  struck.  This  was  no  other  than  the  Prince  Consort, 
for,  if  all  the  writer  said  were  true,  it  necessarily  followed 
that  in  sanctioning  this  alliance  the  Prince  was  giving  proof 
of  those  sympathies  with  the  despotic  dynasties  of  the  Con 
tinent,  and  of  Russia  in  particular,  which  it  suited  a  certain 
class  of  writers  to  insinuate  against  him.  He  could,  however, 
afford  to  bear  in  silence  the  surmises  of  such  accurate  ob 
servers,  knowing  as  he  did  that  the  whole  influence  of  his 
life  had  been  exerted  in  support  of  the  right  of  every  civilised 
nation  to  a  dominant  voice  in  the  administration  of  its  own 
affairs,  and  that  no  consideration,  public  or  private,  would 
have  induced  the  Queen  or  himself  to  imperil  the  happiness 
of  their  child  by  a  marriage,  in  which  she  could  not  have 
found  scope  to  practise  the  constitutional  principles  in  which 
she  had  been  reared. 


377 


CHAPTER   LXVIII. 

THE  fall  of  Sebastopol  was  a  step,  and  an  important  one, 
towards  bringing  Russia  to  terms ;  still  it  was  only  a  step. 
We  knew  with  some  accuracy  how  her  resources  had  been 
strained.  The  troops  in  the  Crimea  were  greatly  straitened 
for  provisions.  A  great  deficiency  in  the  last  harvest 
throughout  South  Russia  had  reduced  the  supply  of  corn 
there  to  what  was  wanted  for  local  consumption.  Supplies 
of  corn  food  could  not  be  obtained  except  from  a  distance  of 
from  three  to  five  hundred  miles  ;  and  as  these  had  all  to  be 
transported  by  land,  and  a  horse  in  that  distance  would 
consume  more  than  he  could  draw  or  carry,  it  had  become 
practically  impossible  to  keep  up  the  supplies.  Up  to  the  end 
of  August  the  losses  of  the  Russians  in  the  Crimea  itself  were 
understood  to  amount  to  at  least  153,000  men.  By  Prince 
Gortschakoffs  own  admission  the  decisive  8th  of  September 
had  cost  them  39  superior  and  328  subaltern  officers  and 
11,228  men.  Still  they  clung  tenaciously  to  the  north  side 
of  Sebastopol,  and  to  the  commanding  positions  by  which 
they  were  able  to  check  any  direct  advance  by  the  Allies. 
The  Government  gave  no  sign  that  they  were  disposed  to 
treat  for  peace  ;  indeed,  the  Czar,  in  an  Imperial  Rescript 
(20th  September),  while  congratulating  the  garrison  of  the 
city  on  having  left  only  '  blood-stained  ruins '  to  the  enemy, 
whom  they  had  kept  for  eleven  months  at  bay  by  their  noble 
courage  and  self-denial,  appealed  with  unabated  resolution 


378  AFTER  FALL   OF  SEBASTOPOL.  1855 

to  them  to  continue  the  conflict  in  defence  of  '  Orthodox 
Russia,  who  had  taken  up  arms  for  a  just  cause — the  cause 
of  Christianity.'  This  manifesto  was  followed  by  a  rumour 
that  a  Eussian  council  of  war  at  Nicolaieff,  at  which  the 
Czar  was  present,  had  decided  to  hazard  a  great  battle, 
on  the  issue  of  which  would  depend  whether  they  would 
evacuate  the  Crimea  or  not. 

It  was  natural  that  the  people  at  home  should  be  im 
patient  for  some  forward  movement  of  the  Allied  forces  to 
follow  up  the  blow  dealt  at  Sebastopol,  before  the  Russians 
had  time  to  recover  from  the  discouragement  and  exhaustion 
under  which  they  were  then  labouring.  Had  these  forces 
been  under  one  general,  and  acting  for  Governments  moved 
by  one  interest  and  by  one  purpose,  it  is  more  than  probable 
that  they  would  not  have  been  allowed  to  remain  as  they 
did,  pent  up  in  the  positions  which  they  had  so  long  occu 
pied,  with  only  the  difference,  that  the  ruins  of  half  the  city 
had  fallen  into  their  hands.  But  the  views  at  Paris  were 
not  identical  with  those  in  London.  There  people  were 
beginning  to  say  that  in  taking  Sebastopol  enough  had  been 
done.  The  honours  of  war  had  of  late  rested  chiefly  with 
the  French.  The  chances  of  a  fresh  campaign  might, 
perhaps,  dim  some  of  their  present  lustre ;  while  the  ex 
penses  of  another  winter  in  the  Crimea  must  run  up  to  a 
figure  which  the  Emperor's  Government  professed  itself 
unable  to  face.  The  season  was  far  advanced,  and  the 
English  Grovernment  learned  with  some  dismay  that  the 
order  had  been  given  to  recall  a  large  portion  of  the  French 
force  to  France.  Assurances  were  at  the  same  time  given 
that  they  would  be  replaced  by  equal  numbers.  This  might 
or  might  not  be  the  case,  but  at  all  events  it  soon  became 
apparent  that  any  great  movement  must  be  reserved  for  a 
spring  campaign. 

Meanwhile  some  minor  successes  helped  still  further  to 


1855  RUSSIAN  DEFEATS.  379 

cripple  the  Eussian  resources.  After  keeping  Odessa  in 
panic  for  some  days  by  anchoring  off  the  city,  a  portion  of 
the  Allied  fleet  proceeded  to  Kinburn,  where  the  united 
rivers  of  the  Bug  and  the  Dnieper  fall  into  the  Black  Sea 
through  a  channel  protected  by  three  forts.  A  fierce  bom 
bardment  of  a  few  hours  (17th  October)  silenced  the  guns  of 
the  forts,  and  Tapon  this  the  garrison,  1,500  strong,  with  70 
guns,  were  forced  to  surrender.  A  few  days  later  (29th 
October)  a  strong  force  of  Russian  cavalry  was  defeated  near 
Eupatoria  by  three  regiments  of  French  cavalry  under 
General  d'Allonville,  supported  by  a  body  of  Turkish  and 
Egyptian  cavalry  under  Achmet  Pasha.  In  Asia  Minor 
General  Mouravieff  had  sustained  a  most  serious  defeat 
before  Kars  on  the  29th  of  September,  in  'which  5,000 
Eussians  had  been  left  dead  on  the  field — a  -defeat  which 
must  have  led  to  the  raising  of  the  siege  but  for  the  culpable 
failure  of  the  Porte  and  its  allies  to  send  relief  to  the 
starving  heroes  by  whom  it  had  been  inflicted.  What  might 
have  been  done,  had  prompt  and  vigorous  measures  been 
taken  to  attack  the  Russians  in  Asia  Minor,  was  seen  by  the 
success  of  Omar  Pasha  with  the  comparatively  small  Turkish 
force  with  which  he  advanced  from  Redoute  Kaleh  to  the 
Ingo-ur,  where  he  encountered  and  defeated  the  Russians  on 
the  6th  of  November.  But  the  same  want  of  unity  of 
counsel  and  control,  which  checked  any  vigorous  action 
in  the  Crimea,  aggravated  in  this  instance  by  the  jealousies 
and  inertness  -which  prevailed  at  Constantinople,  arrested 
any  such  decisive  action  in  Asia  Minor  as  would  have 
prevented  '  the  bulwark  of  Asia  Minor  '  1  from  passing  into 

1  Kars  was  so  called  by  General  Mouravieff,  in  the  Order  of  the  Day  which 
he  issued  upon  its  fall.  Kars  surrendered  on  the  28th  of  November,  the 
garrison  marching  out  with  all  the  honours  of  war,  and  the  officers  of  all 
ranks  retaining  their  swords.  Famine  did  what  the  superior  forces  of  the 
Russians  could  not  do.  The  bitter  feeling  created,  throughout  England  by  the 
news  of  this  close  to  the  (splendid  courage  and  endurance  displayed  in  the 


380  FEELING  IN  ENGLAND  FOR    WAR.  1855 

the  hands  of  the  adversary  whom  it  had  triumphantly  held 
at  bay. 

If  the  ardour,  never  great,  of  France  for  the  war,  had 
somewhat  abated,  such  was  not  the  case  with  England.  She 
was  more  than  ever  bent  upon  pursuing  it  to  an  effective 
close.  All  her  energies  had  been  devoted  to  strengthening 
herself  for  the  task.  She  was  determined  to  show  that,  if 
her  system  had  brought  suffering  and  disaster  on  her  soldiers, 
she  knew  how  to  make  atonement  for  the  past  by  a  future, 
in  which  their  endurance  and  their  valour  should  be  put  to 
no  unfair  trial  through  want  of  due  provision  for  the  con 
tingencies  of  warfare.  Our  dockyards  and  arsenals  were 
busily  adding  to  the  already  overwhelming  strength  of  our 
fleet,  and  the  country  provided  with  lavish  hands  whatever 
funds  were  necessary  to  enable  its  generals  to  lead  their 
troops  wherever  they  determined  that  the  enemy  might  be 
assailed  with  the  best  assurance  of  success. 

But  the  question  who  these  generals  should  be  had  now 
become  urgent.  General  Simpson,  feeling  more  strongly 
than  ever  that  the  task  entrusted  to  him  was  too  heavy  for 
his  hands,  and  also  conscious,  perhaps,  that  he  had  not  in 
spired  the  Government  with  the  confidence  necessary  for  his 
own  peace  of  mind,  resigned  the  Commandership-in-chief. 
There  was  no  one  so  pre-eminent  for  military  genius  or 
distinguished  service,  that  on  him  the  office  could  by  general 
consent  be  devolved.  Several  at  once  suggested  themselves,  all 
with  qualifications  that  entitled  them  to  high  consideration, 
but  their  merits  were  so  evenlv  balanced  that  it  was  hard  to 


defence  of  Kars,  was  fully  shared  by  the  Sovereign.  '  The  fall  of  Kars,  which 
can  now  no  longer  be  doubted,'  the  Queen  wrote  (12th  December)  to  Lord  Cla 
rendon,  '  is  indeed  a  disgrace  to  the  Allies,  who  have  kept  200,000  men  since 
September  in  the  Crimea  "  to  make  roads  ! "  The  chief  blame,  however,  rests 
certainly  with  Marshal  Pelissier,  who  would  not  let  any  troops  go  to  the  relief 
of  the  garrison,  whilst  he  must  have  premeditated  not  using  his  army  in  the 
Crimea.' 


1855  SUCCESSOR   TO   GENERAL  SIMPSON.  381 

say  who  should  be  preferred  ;  while  it  was  impossible  to 
select  one  without  wounding  the  susceptibilities  of  others, 
who  might  complain  of  a  slight,  were  a  younger  or  less  ex 
perienced  man  to  be  put  over  their  heads.  '  To  find  any 
officer  against  whom  nothing  can  be  said,'  Lord  Palmerston 
wrote  (16th  October)  to  the  Prince,  'implies  the  choice 
either  of  such  men  as  Wellington  or  Napoleon,  or  of  men 
who  have  never  been  employed  at  all;  and  that  of  itself 
would  be  an  absolute  disqualification.' 

The  dilemma  in  which  the  Government  were  thus  placed 
as  to  the  appointment  of  a  successor  to  General  Simpson  was 
the  subject  of  anxious  communications  between  them  and 
the  Sovereign.  They  were  still  unable  to  see  their  way  out 
of  it,  when  the  Prince  wrote  to  Lord  Palmerston  from 
Balmoral  on  the  12th  of  October.  'The  subject,'  he  said, 
6  is  all  day  long  engrossing  my  attention,'  and  he  proceeded  to 
develop  a  plan,  which  had  struck  him  '  as  likely  to  diminish 
present  difficulties,  whilst  it  will  hold  out  many  general 
advantages.'  This  plan  was  the  subdivision  of  the  army 
into  two  Corps-$armee,  each  under  the  command  of  a  senior 
officer  of  high  position,  and  subject  to  the  general  control  of 
the  Commander-in-Chief.  The  balance  of  opinion,  as  the 
Prince  knew,  was  in  favour  of  the  appointment  of  Sir 
William  Codrington  as  General  Simpson's  successor.  But  he 
was  junior  to  three  Generals,  each  of  whom  might  aspire  to 
the  office.2  Something  must  be  done  to  conciliate  their 
feelings,  and  the  Prince  thought  that  they  might  be  reconciled 
to  his  being  placed  over  their  heads,  if  two  of  their  number 

2  One  of  these  was  Sir  Colin  Campbell,  who  returned  to  England  on  leave 
about  this  time.  When  the  arrangement  suggested  by  the  Prince,  as  mentioned 
in  the  text,  was  carried  out,  the  Queen  saw  him,  and  having  stated  how  much 
she  wished  that  his  valuable  services  should  not  be  lost  in  the  Crimea,  he 
replied,  that  he  would  return  immediately,  'for  that,  if  the  Queen  wished  it, 
he  was  ready  to  serve  under  a  corporal.' — (Letter  from  the  Queen  to  Lord 
Hardinge,  Nov.  22,  1855.) 


382  PLAN' FOR  COMMAND  OF  ARMY.          1855 

were  appointed  to  the  command  of  the  proposed  Corps- 
(Tarmee.  The  other  arrangements  which  would  follow,  if 
this  course  were  adopted,  would  increase  the  efficiency  of  the 
control  of  the  army,  and  be  agreeable  to  its  officers.  The 
general  advantages  of  his  plan,  the  Prince  considered,  would 
be,  that  while  strengthening  the  arrangements  for  super 
vision,  it  would  diminish  the  labours  of  the  Commander- 
in-Chief,  and  make  a  large  body  of  troops  more  easy  to 
handle. 

'  Both  Lord  Raglan  and  General  Simpson,'  he  writes,  '  have 
declared  their  inability  to  trouble  themselves  much  about 
plans  of  campaign,  while  their  whole  time  was  taken  up  with 
writing  and  correspondence,'  and  the  last  of  the  considera 
tions  he  had  mentioned  was  '  of  peculiar  importance,  from 
the  nature  of  the  present  war,  which  may  require  divided 
operations.'  These  views  were  developed  in  detail  by  the 
Prince,  and  he  concluded  his  letter  by  the  request  that  it 
might  be  considered  by  the  Cabinet,  and  that  Lord  Hardinge 
might  be  consulted  on  the  subject. 

The  Prince's  proposal  was  taken  into  consideration  by  the 
Military  Committee  of  the  Cabinet,  and  by  them  discussed 
with  Lord  Hardinge.  On  the  16th  of  October  Lord  Palmer- 
ston  wrote  to  the  Prince,  that  the  arrangement  which  he 
had  suggested  was  regarded  by  Lord  Hardinge  as  one  which 
would  be  '  advantageous  to  Her  Majesty's  service  in  the 
Crimea,'  and  he  added,  '  agreeing  as  the  members  of  the 
Cabinet  did  on  the  conclusive  force  of  the  arguments  in  its 
favour  which  were  stated  in  your  Royal  Highness's  letter, 
we  unanimously  determined  to  propose  this  arrangement  to 
the  Cabinet  for  adoption.'  The  Cabinet,  when  the  matter 
was  brought  before  them,  arrived  at  the  same  determination. 
'  I  have  only  to  say  further,'  Lord  Palrnerston  writes  in  con 
clusion,  c  that  I  and  all  the  other  members  of  the  Cabinet 
feel  greatly  obliged  to  your  Royal  Highness  for  having  sug- 


i855  FRENCH  TROOPS    WITHDRAWN.  383 

gested  an  arrangement  which  had  not  occurred  to  any  of  us, 
but  which  when  proposed  and  explained  at  once  obtained  the 
absent  of  all  those  whose  duty  it  was  to  take  it  into  con 
sideration.'  Thus  did  the  calm  clear  head,  ever  at  work  for 
the  welfare  of  the  State  and  the  guidance  of  the  Sovereign, 
resolve,  amid  the  silence  of  the  hills,  a  problem  for  which 
neither  the  Cabinet  nor  the  Commander-in-Chief  had  found 
a  solution. 

On  the  17th  of  October  the  Queen  and  Prince  returned 
to  Windsor  Castle,  having  halted  for  a  night  at  Edinburgh 
on  the  way.  The  Prince  had  been  able  to  shake  off  the  severe 
attack  of  rheumatism,  thanks  to  the  bracing  air  of  the  north, 
and  a  few  days  of  good  sport  in  the  deer-forest.  No  sooner 
was  he  back  in  the  south,  than  he  resumed  the  unintermitting 
work  which  always  awaited  him  there.  It  was  at  this  time 
that  our  Government  learned,  not  without  dismay,  the  inten 
tion  of  the  French  Emperor  to  withdraw  100,000  men  from 
the  Crimea,  on  the  ground  that  public  opinion  in  France 
would  not  support  him  in  the  expense  of  maintaining  so 
large  a  force  there  during  the  winter  doing  nothing,  and 
exposed  to  a  continuance  of  hardships,  which  had  already 
told  severely  upon  the  health  of  the  troops.  Such  a 
purpose,  if  carried  out,  could  not  fail  to  act  as  an  en 
couragement  to  Russia.  There  was  no  reason  to  doubt  the 
determination  of  the  Emperor  to  go  hand  in  hand  with  us 
loyally  to  the  last  in  effecting  the  object  for  which  we  had 
embarked  in  the  war,  but  the  same  confidence  was  not  felt, 
that  influences  were  not  at  work  in  the  enemy's  interest  at 
Paris  to  embarrass  both  his  Government  and  ours  in  the 
event  of  negotiations  for  peace  being  opened  by  Russia. 
What  happened  soon  afterwards  showed  that  this  mistrust 
was  not  wholly  unfounded. 

Such  was  the  position  of  affairs  when  the  Prince  addressed 
the  following  letter  to  Baron  Stockmar  :— 


384  LETTER  BY   THE  PRINCE  1855 

6  There  has  been  a  terrible  pause  in  our  correspondence, 
occasioned  partly  by  our  changing  our  quarters  to  Windsor, 
partly,  however,  by  your  letter  of  the  6th,  which  points  at 
another  in  continuation  of  it  to  follow  immediately.  Up  to 
this  moment  it  has  not  made  its  appearance ;  but  I  cannot 
wait  longer.  We  are  all  well.  We  miss  the  fine  mountains 
and  the  pure  air  of  Balmoral,  but  are  on  the  other  hand  in 
demnified  for  these  by  a  superabundance  of  business. 

'  I  have  worked  out  a  plan  for  the  Eeorganisation  of  our 
Army  in  the  Crimea,  and  its  division  into  two  Corps-d'armee, 
under  one  chief,  which  has  been  adopted  by  the  Ministry,  and 
will,  I  hope,  bear  good  fruits.  Sir  W.  Codrington  gets  the 
Commandership-in-Chief,  Sir  Colin  Campbell  and  Sir  W. 
E}rre  take  the  Divisions,  General  Wyndham  becomes  Chief 
of  the  General  Staff,  Generals  Simpson,  Bentinck,  Markham, 
and  Airy  return. 

'  I  have  just  completed  a  Memoir  on  Examinations  and 
New  Eules  of  Admission  for  the  Diplomatic  Body,  a  question 
which  has  been  stirred  by  the  Administrative  Eeform  agita 
tion,  and  am  now  engaged  in  preparing  an  address  on  the  in 
fluence  of  Science  and  Art  on  our  Manufactures,  which  I  am 
to  deliver  at  the  laying  of  the  foundation  stone  of  the 
Birmingham  and  Midland  Counties  Institute. 

'  Our  Cabinet  has  sustained  a  loss  in  Sir  William  Moles  worth, 
as  to  whose  successor  no  decision  has  yet  been  come.  Lord 
Elgin  is  likely  to  come  into  the  Cabinet  in  Lord  Canning's 
place.  There  are  people  who  maintain  that  young  Lord  Stanley 
(Lord  Derby's  son)  is  to  be  had.  This  would  not  be  more  re 
markable  than  the  prevailing  belief  that  the  Peelites  have 
come  to  an  understanding  with  Disraeli,  and  will,  along  with 
Cobden  and  Bright,  and  perhaps  John  Kussell,  form  a  Peace 
party. 

'  Up  to  this  time  the  peace  feeling  has  been  stronger  in 
France  than  here,  and  gives  us  much  to  do.  This  justifies 


i855  TO  BARON  STOCKMAR.  385 

the  apprehension  you  have  long  entertained.  What  is  said 
is  :  "  Si  la  France  doit  continuer  la  guerre  a  grands  sacri 
fices^  il  lui  faut  des  objets  plus  nationaux,  plus  Francais  : 
Poland,  Italy,  the  left  bank  of  the  Ehine,  &c.3  For  this  we 
are  prepared,  and  for  these  purposes  might  recall  our  army 
from  the  Black  Sea  by  degrees."  Herein  lies  one  of  the 
causes  of  our  inactivity  in  the  Crimea !  The  position  taken 
up  by  Austria  and  Prussia  is  alone  to  blame  for  all,  and  I 
tremble  for  the  Nemesis  ! 

'  In  the  matrimonial  affair,  nothing  new  has  transpired.  I 
am  giving  Vicky  every  evening  an  hour  for  conversation,  in 
which  our  chief  topic  is  history.  She  knows  a  great  deal.  I 
also  give  her  subjects,  which  she  works  out  for  me.  Her  in 
tellect  is  quick  and  thoroughly  sound  (richtig)  in  its  operations. 

'  As  you  speak  to  me  in  your  letter  of  the  value  of  the  right 
time  in  human  measures,  a  theme  on  which  you  often  dis 
course,  it  may  perhaps  interest  you  to  know  how  completely 
Napoleon  agrees  with  you  in  one  of  his  letters  to  his  brother 
Joseph.  I  transcribe  the  passage:  "Ce  sont  la  les  operations 
de  la  paix;  tout  cela  doit  venir  avec  elle,  et  cette  paix 
arrivera.  Le  moyen  de  faire  entendre  a  des  hommes  de 
I' 'imagination  de  M.  Roederer  QUE  LE  TEMPS  EST  LE  GRAND 
ART  DE  L'HOMME, — que  ce  qui  ne  doit  etre  fait  qu'en  1810  ne 
peut  etre  fait  en  1 807  !  La  fibre  Gauloise  ne  se  plie  pas  au 
calcul  du  temps.  C'est  cependant  par  cette  seule  considera 
tion  que  fai  reussi  dans  tout  ce  que  fai  fait." 

'  Now  I  will  conclude  with  my  ceterum  censeo.,  "  that  you 
are  to  come  to  us."  You  are  most  longingly  looked  for. 

•Windsor  Castle,  29th  October,  1855.' 

3  The  folly  of  the  last  of  these  projects,  so  steadily  fomented  through  a 
long  series  of  years  by  M.  Thiers  and  others — a  folly  to  be  afterwards  so  bitterly 
expiated — needed  no  demonstration.  On  the  llth  of  April,  1855,  in  a  letter 
from  the  Queen  to  Lord  Clarendon,  these  prophetic  words  occur :  '  The  first 
Frenchman  who  should  hostilcly  approach  the  Rhino  would  set  the  whole  of  Ger 
many  on  fire' 

VOL.  III.  C  C 


386  LETTER  BY  THE  PRINCE  TO  1855 

The  Prince  had  now  added  to  his  long  list  of  correspond 
ents,  another  in  the  person  of  his  future  son-in-law.  From 
him  he  had  received  a  letter,  in  which,  among  other  things, 
the  young  Prince  spoke  in  strong  terms  of  reprobation  of  the 
devices  resorted  to  by  the  reactionary  party  in  Prussia  to 
secure  the  return  of  a  majority  of  mere  Grovernment  tools  to  the 
National  Assembly.  The  terms  of  the  Prince's  reply  on  this 
subject  are  a  striking  commentary  on  the  suspicions  referred 
to  at  the  close  of  the  last  chapter,  as  to  his  sympathy  with 
the  despotic  governments  of  the  Continent.  As  addressed  to 
the  future  Sovereign  of  a  great  Empire,  the  whole  letter  is 
full  of  interest  and  instruction  : — 

'  My  dear  Fritz, — Accept  my  best  thanks  for  your  friendly 
lines  of  the  22nd  ult. 

'  The  state  of  Prussia,  as  you  describe  it,  is  most  critical, 
and  designs  such  as  those  contemplated  by  the  reactionists, 
prosecuted  by  such  means  as  are  at  this  moment  practised  in 
regard  to  the  elections,  may  result  in  extreme  danger  to  the 
monarchy.  For  if  the  world  be  overruled  by  a  Grod,  as  I 
believe  it  is,  vile  and  wicked  actions  must  bear  evil  fruits, 
which  frequently  do  not  show  themselves  at  once,  but  long 
years  afterwards,  as  the  Bible  tells  us  in  the  words,  '  the  sins 
of  the  fathers  are  visited  on  the  children  to  the  third  and 
fourth  generation.'  This  being  so,  I  ask  myself,  what  the 
duties  of  those  who  are  to  come  after  are  in  reference  to  the 
sowing  of  such  dragon's  teeth  ?  And  I  am  constrained  to 
answer  to  myself,  that  they  are  enjoined  by  morality, 
conscience,  and  patriotism,  not  to  stand  aloof  as  indifferent 
spectators  of  the  destruction  of  a  Constitution  that  has  been 
sworn  to.  And  when  I  consider  what  I  should  do  in  the 
present  state  of  things,  this  much  is  quite  clear  to  me,  that 
I  would  record  a  solemn  protest  against  such  proceedings, 
not  by  way  of  opposition  to  the  Grovernment,  but  in  defence 


1 855     PRINCE  FREDERICK  WILLIAM  OF  PRUSSIA.    387 

of  the  rights  of  those,  whose  rights  I  should  regard  as 
inseparable  from  my  own — those  of  my  country  and  my 
people — and  in  order  that  I  might  absolve  my  conscience 
from  any  suspicion  of  participation  in  the  unholy  work.  At 
the  same  time,  however,  that  my  conduct  might  be  divested 
of  every  semblance  of  being  dictated  by  a  spirit  of  opposition 
or  desire  for  popularity, — and  in  order,  it  may  be, 'to  make 
the  step  itself  unnecessary — I  should  in  all  confidence  make 
those  who  are  contemplating  the  wrong  aware,  that,  if  it 
were  persisted  in,  I  should  feel  myself  compelled  to  adopt 
this  course.  This  done,  I  should  entertain  no  animosity 
towards  my  friends,  but,  on  the  contrary,  should  live  on 
upon  terms  of  peace  with  the  reigning  powers. 

'  I  am  satisfied,  that  an  attitude  of  this  kind  would  inspire 
the  delinquents  with  a  certain  measure  of  alarm,  and  help  to 
keep  the  nation  from  losing  all  hope,  and  there  is  no  such 
solid  basis  for  patience  as  hope. 

6  In  your  letter  to  Victoria  of  the  3rd,  which  she  received 
yesterday,  you  speak  of  your  new  labours  and  studies  in  the 
different  Ministerial  departments.  When  you  have  worked 
in  them  for  some  time,  the  truth  will  become  obvious  to 
you  of  Axel  Oxenstiern's  saying,  "My  son,  you  will  be  sur 
prised,  with  how  little  wisdom  the  world  is  governed."  J  am 
only  afraid,  that  it  will  be  nobody's  interest  to  explain 
essential  principles  to  you,  and  that,  on  the  contrary,  they 
will  try,  perhaps  not  unintentionally,  to  overwhelm  you  with 
the  multiplicity  of  details  and  of  so-called  work.  But  this 
good  must  at  any  rate  ensue,  that  you  will  become  thoroughly 
acquainted  with  what  is  making  history.  Most  German 
bureaucrats  cannot,  and  even  will  not,  see  the  wood  for  the 
trees ;  they  even  regard  the  abstract  idea  of  the  wood 
as  something  dangerous,  and  measure  its  value  by  the 
density  with  which  the  trees  are  huddled  together,  not  by 
the  vigour  of  their  growth.  Added  to  which,  the  weight 


38S  THE  PRINCESS   VICTORIA.  1855 

and  number  of  German  official  documents  is  something 
appalling. 

;  In  another  way  Vicky  is  also  very  busy  :  she  has  learned 
much  in  many  directions.  .  .  .  She  now  comes  to  me  every 
evening  from  six  to  seven,  when  I  put  her  through  a  kind  of 
general  catechizing,  and  in  order  to  give  precision  to  her  ideas, 
I  make  her  work  out  certain  subjects  by  herself,  and  bring 
me  the  results  to  be  revised.  Thus  she  is  now  engaged  in 
writing  a  short  Compendium  of  Roman  History.  .  .  . 

'  Of  late  we  have  had  rains  without  intermission,  which 
have  made  us  apprehensive  of  floods.  Prices  of  all  kinds  are 
still  frightfully  high,  still  there  is  nothing  like  poverty  in 
the  country,  and  the  wages  of  labour  are  so  high,  that  recruiting 
does  not  go  on  so  well  as  we  could  wish. 

6  From  the  Crimea  we  have  excellent  news,  so  far  as  the 
condition  of  the  troops  and  the  preparations  for  the  winter 
are  concerned,  but  not  as  to  any  vigorous  effort  to  drive  the 
Russians  from  the  Crimea.  Our  army  will  by  the  spring 
number  on  the  spot  50,000  men,  which,  with  the  Turkish 
contingent  of  20,000  men  under  General  Vivian,  and  15,000 
Sardinians,  exclusive  of  French  and  Turks,  will  form  a  very 
imposing  force. 

c  Now,  however,  I  will  indeed  "  let  you  go,"  as  they  say  in 
Vienna. 

'Windsor  Castle,  6th  November,  1855.' 

A  few  days  after  this  letter  was  written,  the  Queen  and 
Prince  were  much  distressed  by  the  tidings  that  Her 
Majesty's  brother,  Prince  Leiningen,  had  been  struck  with 
apoplexy,  which,  however  he  might  rally  for  a  time,  they 
felt  was  virtually  a  death-blow  to  a  man  of  his  energetic  and 
active  habits  of  mind.  Allusion  to  this  is  made  in  the  follow 
ing  letter  by  the  Prince  to  Baron  Stockmar  :— 

'  I  have  not  written  to  you  for  a  long  time,  having  been 


1 85 5        ILLNESS   OF  THE  QUEEN'S  BROTHER.  389 

always  under  the  conviction  I  should  one  day  hear  from  the 
children,  "Do  you  know,  Papa,  that  the  Baron  is  in  his 
room  below  ?  "  The  Baron,  however,  is  not  there,'  as  I  have 
only  too  good  cause  to  know,  and  I  wish  I  could  feel  confi 
dent  that  he  was  coming  !  November  and  December  in 
Coburg  are  wretched  months,  and  anything  but  good  for 
your  health ;  here  it  is  much  better,  and  this  you  know  ! 
We  positively  must  have  some  talk  face  to  face  with  you, 
if  everything  is  to  go  well,  and  for  this  much  depends  on 
you. 

'  Charles's  apoplectic  stroke  was  very  serious,  and  causes 
much  concern  and  apprehension  for  the  future.  It  will  be  a 
source  of  no  small  anxiety  to  himself. 

'  The  troops  will  go  into  winter  quarters  in  the  Crimea. 
After  beginning  the  campaign  last  year  with  25,000  men 
and  35  guns,  and  well-nigh  losing  our  whole  army  in  the 
disastrous  siege,  we  stand  there  now  with  51,000  men,  94 
field-pieces  (bespannten  Geschiitzen)  and  4.000  cavalry,  and 
our  Turkish  legion  is  good  for  20,000  men,  besides  which  the 
regiments  of  the  Foreign  Legion  will  by  the  spring  amount 
to  10,000  men;  four  excellent  regiments,  two  German  and 
two  Swiss,  have  already  been  despatched  to  Constantinople. 
In  Malta  we  have  organised  a  depot  of  10,000  men.  This 
is  no  bad  result  after  the  taking  of  Sebastopol. 

'  In  Paris  the  passion  for  peace  has  infected  the  moneyed 
interest,  and  the  war  will  yet  cost  a  great  deal  of  money. 
Here  the  enthusiasm  is  unabated,  and  the  resources  unim 
paired.  By  the  spring  we  shall  have  150  steam  and  mortar 
boats,  of  a  new  construction,  capable  of  sailing  in  all  waters. 
In  1853  we  had  not  one. 

'  Let  me  soon  hear  from  you  but  two  words  :  "  I  am  coming." 

'  Windsor  Castle,  November  19th,  1855.' 

In  the  midst  of  the  numberless  public  questions  of  moment 


390  ADDRESS  BY  THE  PRINCE   TO  1855 

which   preoccupied    the    Prince's   attention,   he   had    found 
time  to  prepare  one  of  his  most  suggestive  addresses  for  the 
occasion  of  his  laying  the  first  stone  of  the  Birmingham  and 
Midland  Institute.     On  the  22nd  of  November  he  performed 
this  ceremony,  and  delivered  his  address  at  a  banquet  in  the 
Town  Hall  immediately  afterwards.     There  were  many  austere 
critics  present   on  the   occasion,  some  of  them   themselves 
great  speakers.     The  impression  produced  upon  them  by  the 
Prince    was  that  of  a  man,  who  had  not  only  thought  for 
himself,  but   thought  deeply   on    subjects   which   they   had 
themselves  made  the  study  of  their  lives,  and  who  possessed  a 
power  of  expressing  his  thoughts  with  a  masterly  precision  and 
conciseness,  which  they  despaired  to  rival,  while  suggesting 
at  the  same  time  new  and  wide  veins  of  speculation  into 
which   his  ideas  might   be   developed.     The  object   of  the 
Institute,    expressed    by    the    Prince  himself  as  being  '  the 
introduction  of  science  and  art  as  the  unconscious  regulators  of 
productive  industry,' — science,  to  discover  the  laws  of  nature, 
art  to  teach  their  application — was  one  for  which  he  felt  the 
strongest  sympathy.     If  work,  the  lot  of  the  mass  of  man 
kind,  is  ever  to  be  otherwise  than  irksome,  the  head  must 
guide  the  hand, — the  principles   which    regulate  the  forces 
with  which  we  come  in  contact,  as  well  as  the  ends  which  all 
work  serves,  must  be  understood, — the  workman  must  take  an 
intelligent   pride    in    the    product   of  his    skill.     To   serve 
towards  this  result  in  the  heart  of  one  of  the  great  hives  of 
skilled  industry  being  the  purpose  of  the  Institute,  the  Prince 
naturally  seized  the  opportunity  to  speak  out  his  own  strong- 
convictions  as  to  the  direction  to  be  given  to  the  education 
of  the  class  for  whose  benefit  the  Institute   was   intended. 
After  pointing    out    what  science    had    done    for   mankind, 
and  the  infinite  prospects  of  valuable  knowledge  yet  to  be 
won  within  its  domain,  the  Prince  thus  concluded  his  ad 
dress  : — 


1855     BIRMINGHAM  AND  MIDLAND  INSTITUTE.     391 

'  The  study  of  the  laws  by  which  the  Almighty  governs  the 
Universe  is  therefore  our  bounden  duty.  Of  these  laws  our  great 
academies  and  seats  of  education  have,  rather  arbitrarily,  selected 
only  two  spheres  or  groups  (as  I  may  call  them)  as  essential 
parts  of  our  national  education :  the  laws  which  regulate  quantities 
and  proportions,  which  form  the  subject  of  mathematics,  and  the 
laws  regulating  the  expression  of  our  thoughts,  through  the  me 
dium  of  language,  that  is  to  say,  grammar,  which  finds  its  purest 
expression  in  the  classical  languages.  These  laws  are  most  im 
portant  branches  of  knowledge,  their  study  trains  and  elevates 
the  mind,  but  they  are  not  the  only  ones ;  there  are  others  which 
we  cannot  disregard,  which  we  cannot  do  without. 

'  There  are,  for  instance,  the  laws  governing  the  human  mind, 
and  its  relation  to  the  Divine  Spirit  (the  subject  of  logic  and  me 
taphysics)  ;  there  are  those  which  govern  our  bodily  nature  and 
its  connection  with  the  soul  (the  subject  of  physiology  and 
psychology)  ;  those  which  govern  human  society,  and  the  rela 
tions  between  man  and  man  (the  subjects  of  politics,  jurispru 
dence,  and  political  economy)  ;  and  many  others. 

'  Whilst  of  the  laws  just  mentioned  some  have  been  recognised 
as  essentials  of  education  in  different  institutions,  and  some  will, 
by  the  course  of  time,  more  fully  assert  their  right  to  recognition, 
the  laws  regulating  matter  and  form  are  those  which  will  con 
stitute  the  chief  object  of  your  pursuits ;  and,  as  the  principle  of 
subdivision  of  labour  is  the  one  most  congenial  to  our  age,  I 
would  advise  you  to  keep  to  this  speciality,  and  to  follow  with 
undivided  attention  chiefly  the  sciences  of  mechanics,  physics, 
and  chemistry,  and  the  fine  arts  in  painting,  sculpture,  and 
architecture. 

'  You  will  thus  have  conferred  an  inestimable  boon  upon  your 
country,  and  in  a  short  time  have  the  satisfaction  of  witnessing 
the  beneficial  results  upon  our  national  powers  of  production. 
Other  parts  of  the  country  will,  I  doubt  not,  emulate  your  ex 
ample  ;  and  I  live  in  hope  that  all  these  institutions  will  some 
day  find  a  central  point  of  union,  and  thus  complete  their  national 
organisation.' 

Two  days  afterwards  the  Prince  wrote  to  Baron  Stockmar  :— 
4  Still  no  tidings  of  your  starting,  and  it  grows  colder  and 


392  PROPOSALS  OF  PEACE  1855 

colder  !  Nevertheless,  important  events  are  pressing  on  here, 
and  we  are  in  all  manner  of  perplexities,  in  which  your  good 
advice  would  be  extremely  useful. 

4  To-day  I  will  only  tell  you  of  the  success  of  my  expedition 
to  Birmingham.  You  will  have  seen  my  address  in  The 
Times  of  the  23rd.  It  has  met  with  great  success,  and 
attracted  much  notice  ;  I  hope  also  for  your  approval,  which 
I  care  for  much  more  than  for  that  of  our  unsophisticated 
public.4  Not  to  scatter  incense  for  myself,  but  to  give  you 
pleasure,  I  send  you  the  leading  article  of  the  Herald,  a 
paper  which,  together  with  the  Advertiser  and  the  Daily 
News,  was  particularly  hostile  to  me.  The  Post,  Morning 
Chronicle,  Globe,  Spectator,  Economist,  &c.,  contain  articles 
equally  complimentary. 

4  We  expect  the  King  of  Sardinia  on  Friday  for  a  week, 
are  busy  with  the  preparations,  and  have  a  hard  week's  work 
before  us.  The  King  has  made  a  most  unfortunate  selection 
of  the  season  for  his  visit  ! ' 

The  'pressing  events'  to  which  the  Prince  alludes  in  this 
letter  were,  first,  the  fact,  that  Austria  had  recently  formulated 
certain  proposals  for  peace,  which  she  proposed  sending  to  St. 
Petersburg,  by  way  of  ultimatum,  with  the  intimation  that, 
if  not  accepted,  she  would  break  off  her  diplomatic  relations 
with  Eussia,  and,  next,  the  circumstances  under  which  these 
proposals  had  been  brought  before  the  English  Government. 
These  were  anything  but  satisfactory.  The  representatives 
of  France  and  Austria  had  concerted  the  terms  to  be  sub 
mitted  to  Kussia,  without  concert  with  England,  and  they 
had  then  been  sent  to  our  Government  by  Count  Walewski, 
with  an  urgent  request  that  we  should  adopt  them  as  they 

4  This  was  the  Baron's  verdict : — 'The  speech  at  Birmingham  has  pleased 
me  very  much.  It  seems  to  me  to  touch  on  every  essential  point.  The  Times 
has  despatched  it  sneeringly.  Never  mind ! ' 


i855  SUGGESTED  BY  AUSTRIA.  393 

stood.  The  proposals,  in  their  general  scope,  were  such  as  we 
could  not  with  propriety  refuse  to  entertain ;  but  when  they 
came  to  be  examined,  certain  modifications  presented  them 
selves  to  our  Government  as  essential.  On  these  being 
communicated  to  Count  Walewski,  they  were  received  in  a 
spirit  akin  to  that  in  which  an  arrangement  so  vital  to 
England  had  been  come  to  without  even  asking  her  opinion. 
The  Austrian  proposals,  we  were  told,  must  be  accepted,  as 
presented  to  us,  and  no  modifications  of  them  could  be 
entertained.  Against  such  treatment  it  became  necessary  to 
protest,  and  Count  Walewski  had  to  be  told  in  diplomatic 
language,  that  in  this  matter  England  was  a  principal,  and 
not  a  mere  political  and  diplomatic  contingent. 

The  communications  between  the  representatives  of  the 
two  countries  had  grown  somewhat  warm  ;  Lord  Palmerston 
had  even  gone  the  length  of  writing  to  Count  Walewski 
(21st  of  November),  that,  rather  than  be  dragged  into 
signing  a  peace  on  unsatisfactory  terms,  England  would 
prefer  to  continue  the  war  with  no  other  ally  than  Turkey, 
and  that  she  felt  herself  quite  competent  to  sustain  the 
burden  thus  cast  upon  her.  Things  were  in  this  critical 
state,  when  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  believing  probably 
that  the  only  way  to  a  true  understanding  with  his  ally  was 
to  take  the  matter  into  his  own  hands,  addressed  the  letter 
to  the  Queen,  of  which  the  following  is  a  translation  :— 

'  Tuileries,  22nd  November,  18o5. 

'  Madam  and  dear  Sister, —  I  received  the  Duke  of  Cam 
bridge  with  great  pleasure,  both  because  he  is  so  near  of  kin 
to  Your  Majesty,  and  because  I  have  long  had  occasion  to 
know  all  his  good  qualities.5  I  have  been  greatly  touched 
by  your  letter,  of  which  he  was  the  bearer.  Nothing  could 

5  The  Duke  had  gone  to  Paris  to  attend  the  ceremony  of  closing  the  Great 
Exhibition  there. 


394       LETTER  BY  EMPEROR   OF  THE  FRENCH      1855 

please  me  more  than  to  know  that  the  remembrance  of  Your 
Majesty's  visit  to  us  has  not  yet  been  effaced  from  your 
memory. 

'  We  have  reached  one  of  those  critical  epochs,  when  we 
ought  to  speak  very  frankly  ;  and  I  would  therefore  ask 
Your  Majesty's  permission  to  enter  into  some  detail  upon  the 
subject  of  what  is  taking  place  in  the  political  world. 

6 1  begin  by  repelling  everything  which  could  lead  to  the 
belief,  that  the  French  Government  would  be  constrained  to 
make  peace,  although  the  conditions  were  not  good,  just  as  I 
would  not  permit  myself  to  think  that  the  English  Grovern- 
ruent  would  be  compelled  to  continue  the  war,  if  the  condi 
tions  of  peace  were  good.  We  are  both  of  us  free  in  our 
actions,  we  have  the  same  interests,  and  we  wish  the  same 
thing — an  honourable  peace  ! 

'Now,  what  is  our  military  position?  Your  Majesty  has,  I 
believe,  in  the  East,  50,000  men,  and  10,000  horses.  I  have 
200,000  men  and  34,000  horses.  Your  Majesty  has  an 
immense  fleet  in  the  Black  Sea  as  well  as  in  the  Baltic  ;  I 
have  one  that  is  imposing,  though  less  considerable.  Well, 
notwithstanding  this  formidable  force,  it  is  apparent  to  all 
the  world,  that  although  we  can  do  Russia  serious  mischief, 
we  cannot  subdue  her  with  our  own  unaided  means.  What 
then  is  to  be  done  ?  Three  courses  are  open  to  us. 

'  1.  To  limit  ourselves  to  occupying  strategical  points,  to 
blockade  the  Black  Sea  and  the  Baltic,  and  to  wait  without 
spending  extravagant  sums  until  it  pleases  Russia  to  make 
peace.  By  confining  ourselves  to  a  defensive  war,  and  to 
holding  our  ground,  Russia  will  be  exhausted  in  warlike 
preparations  (s'epuise  en  armements\  while  we,  on  the  other 
hand,  will  be  diminishing  the  sacrifices  of  war. 

4  2.  To  make  an  appeal  to  all  the  nationalities,  to  proclaim 
boldly  the  re-establishment  of  Poland,  the  independence  of 
Finland,  of  Hungary,  of  Italy,  and  of  Circassia.  This  course, 


1855  TO   THE   QUEEN.  395 

I  need  scarcely  say,  would  be  full  of  danger,  and  contrary 
at  this  time  of  day  to  justice. 

'  3.  To  secure,  if  possible,  the  alliance  of  Austria,  so  as 
that  she  may  carry  all  Germany  along  with  her,  and  in  this 
way  that  Russia  may  be  driven,  by  our  arms  on  the  one 
hand,  and  by  the  public  opinion  of  Europe  on  the  other,  to 
propose  equitable  conditions  of  peace. 

4  It  will  seem,  I  doubt  not,  to  Your  Majesty,  as  it  does  to 
me,  that  the  third  course  is  the  best. 

6  Now,  what  is  going  on  at  this  moment? 

4  Austria  says  to  us,  "  The  proposals  of  peace,  which  before 
Europe  you  have  proclaimed  to  be  sufficient  for  your  interests 
and  your  honour,  I  accept,  nay  I  am  prepared  even  to 
submit  them  on  the  condition  that,  if  Kussia  shall  by  any 
chance  entertain  them,  you  give  me  your  assurance,  that  you 
will  consent  to  open  negotiations  for  peace  on  this  basis." 
To  such  an  offer,  how  can  we  reasonably  reply  by  a  refusal, 
or  by  equivocations  (chicanes}  which  are  equivalent  to  a 
refusal  ?  This,  Madam,  is  what  I  cannot  understand,  for  it 
is  not  we  who  make  concessions  to  gain  the  support  of 
Austria ;  it  is  Austria  who  of  her  own  accord  hoists  our 
flag. 

'  If  Your  Majesty's  Government  said  that  the  conditions  of 
peace  ought  to  be  very  different,  that  our  honour  and  our 
interests  demanded  a  readjustment  of  the  map  of  Europe, 
that  Europe  would  not  be  free  until  Poland  was  re-established, 
the  Crimea  given  to  Turkey,  and  Finland  to  Sweden,  I  could 
comprehend  a  policy  which  would  have  a  certain  grandeur, 
and  would  put  the  results  aimed  at  on  a  level  with  the 
sacrifices  to  be  made.  But  spontaneously  to  renounce  the 
support  of  Austria  for  microscopical  advantages,  which  one 
could  always  claim  at  any  time,  is  what  I  cannot  bring 
myself  to  regard  as  reasonable,  and  to  these  questions,  so 
grave  as  they  are,  I  ask  the  attention  of  Your  Majesty  and 


396  CONSIDERATION  AS   TO  ANSWER.  1855 

that  of  Prince  Albert,  whose  views  are  always  so  clear  and  so 
exalted. 

'  My  firm  desire  being  to  be  always  at  one  with  Your 
Majesty's  Government,  I  hope  we  shall  come  to  an  under 
standing. 

4 1  ask  your  pardon  for  this  letter,  written  in  haste,  and  I 
beg   you  to  receive   favourably  the  fresh  expression  of  the 
respectful  and  tender  friendship,  with  which  I  am, 
'  Madam  and  dear  Sister, 

'  Your  Majesty's  devoted  and  true  brother, 

'  NAPOLEON.' 

On  receiving  this  letter  the  Queen  sent  for  Lord  Palmers- 
ton  and  Lord  Clarendon,  and  laid  it  before  them.  The 
sketch  of  the  reply  to  be  returned  to  it  had  been  prepared 
by  the  Queen  in  concert  with  the  Prince.  In  very  firm,  but 
courteous,  language,  it  recalled  the  Emperor's  attention  to 
the  fact,  that  in  negotiating  peace  the  terms  must  be  such 
as  the  British  Nation,  through  her  Parliament,  would  ap 
prove  ;  and  that  a  grave  mistake  had  been  committed  by  his 
Minister  in  settling,  without  our  intervention,  terms  of  peace 
to  which  we  were  expected  to  become  parties.  It  also 
brought  to  his  notice  the  unmeasured  language  of  some  of 
the  Emperor's  own  officials,  of  which  he  was  pretty  certainly 
himself  unaware,  as  to  the  necessity  which  France  felt  for 
bringing  the  war  to  a  close.  The  natural  candour  of  the 
Emperor's  mind  might  be  relied  upon  to  take  these  remon 
strances  in  good  part.  If  convinced  of  their  justice — and 
this  he  subsequently  admitted  himself  to  be — he  was  sure  to 
go  heartily  with  us  in  stipulating  for  the  conditions  which  we 
considered  essential  to  an  honourable  peace.  To  carry  him 
along  with  us  was  all-important ;  for  only  in  this  way  could 
we  hope  to  checkmate  the  peace-at-any-price  party  in  Paris, 
who  were  actively  at  work  in  the  hope  of  endangering  the 


1 85 5  LETTER  BY  THE   QUEEN.  397 

English  alliance,  and  establishing  those  intimate  relations 
with  Eussia  which  her  agents  were  straining  every  nerve  to 
negotiate.  The  letter,  of  which  we  now  give  the  translation, 
met  with  the  cordial  approval  of  the  Ministers,  who  felt 
how  thoroughly  it  was  calculated  to  effect  the  object  in 
view  : — 

'  26th  November,  1855. 

'  Sire  and  dear  Brother, — My  cousin,  the  Duke  of  Cam 
bridge,  has  come  back  to  us  deeply  moved  by  the  kindness  of 
the  reception  given  to  him  by  Your  Majesty,  and  by  the  confi 
dence  you  have  shown  him.  Most  sincerely  do  I  thank  your 
Majesty,  to  whom  he  has  been  a  fresh  medium  for  the  con 
veyance  of  my  sentiments.  The  ceremony  of  closing  the 
Exhibition,  at  which  he  was  present,  filled  him  with  admira 
tion,  and  the  lively  description  of  it  which  he  gave  me, 
inspired  me  with  but  one  regret,  namely,  that  I  was  not  able 
to  be  there  myself. 

'  Your  Majesty's  letter  has  given  me  the  greatest  satisfac 
tion,  as  at  once  a  fresh  proof  of  your  friendship  and  of  your 
sincere  desire  in  all  difficult  moments  to  come  to  a  clear 
understanding  with  me  by  a  frank  and  unreserved  inter 
change  of  opinions.  I  am  animated  by  the  same  feeling, 
and  pleased  to  find  that  there  is  in  fact  no  material  difference 
between  your  views  and  my  own.  We  both  wish  for  a  good 
and  honourable  peace,  and  you  are  quite  right  in  saying  that 
}TOU  are  no  more  constrained  to  accept  a  bad  peace,  than  I  to 
refuse  a  good  one.  But  to  discover  and  understand  the 
nature  of  that  which  may  have  the  semblance  of  a  difference 
of  opinion,  it  is  essential  to  form  a  just  idea  of  the  dif 
ference  of  position  of  our  two  Governments,  which  must 
naturally  influence  their  decisions  and  actions.  It  is  only 
by  taking  this  difference  into  full  account  that  we  can  judge 
each  other  with  perfect  justice  and  fairness. 

'  Your  Majesty  has  great  advantages  over  me  in  the  mode 


398  LETTER  BY   THE  QUEEN  1855 

of  conducting  your  policy  and  your  negotiations.  You  are 
answerable  to  nobody,  you  can  keep  your  own  counsel, 
employ  in  your  negotiations  whatever  person  or  form  you 
choose,  you  can  alter  your  course  when  you  please,  or  give, 
by  a  word  spoken  by  yourself  at  any  time,  that  direction  to 
public  affairs  which  strikes  you  at  the  moment  as  the  most 
advantageous. 

'  I,  on  the  other  hand,  am  bound  by  certain  rules  and 
usages  ;  I  have  no  uncontrolled  power  of  decision  ;  I  must 
adopt  the  advice  of  a  Council  of  responsible  Ministers,  and 
these  Ministers  have  to  meet  and  to  agree  on  a  course  of 
action  after  having  arrived  at  a  joint  conviction  of  its  justice 
and  utility.  They  have  at  the  same  time  to  take  care  that 
the  steps  which  they  wish  to  take  are  not  only  in  accordance 
with  the  best  interests  of  the  country,  but  also  such,  that  they 
can  be  explained  to  and  defended  in  Parliament,  and  that 
their  fitness  may  be  brought  home  to  the  conviction  of  the 
nation. 

'There  is,  however,  another  side  to  this  picture,  in  which 
I  consider  that  I  have  an  advantage  which  Your  Majesty  has 
not.  Your  policy  runs  the  risk  of  remaining  unsupported 
by  the  nation,  and  the  irresistible  conviction  that  your 
people  will  not  follow  it  to  the  end,  may  expose  you  to  the 
dangerous  alternative  of  either  having  to  impose  it  upon 
them  against  their  will,  or  of  having  suddenly  to  alter  your 
course  abroad,  and  even  perhaps  to  encounter  grave  resistance. 
T,  on  the  other  hand,  can  allow  my  policy  free  scope  to  work 
out  its  own  consequences,  certain  of  the  steady  and  consistent 
support  of  my  people,  who,  having  had  a  share  in  determi 
ning  my  policy,  feel  themselves  to  be  identified  with  it. 

4  The  advantages  and  disadvantages  inherent  in  our  respec 
tive  positions,  are  very  apparent  at  this  "  critical  epoch,"  and 
in  them  lie  the  difficulties  which  we  have  to  overcome.  If 
they  are  well  understood,  however,  and  well  appreciated  on 


1855          TO   THE  EMPEROR   OF  THE  FRENCH.  399 

both  sides,  it  ought  not  to  be  difficult  to  arrive  at  a  judicious 
solution,  while  paying  at  the  same  time  due  regard  to  our 
respective  positions. 

4 1  make,  then,  full  allowance  for  Your  Majesty's  personal 
difficulties,  and  refuse  to  listen  to  any  wounded  feelings  of 
amour  propre  which  my  Government  might  be  supposed  to 
entertain  at  a  complete  understanding  having  been  come  to 
with  Austria — an  understanding  which  has  resulted  in  an 
arrangement  being  placed,  cut  and  dry  before  us,  for  our 
mere  acceptance,  putting  us  in  the  disagreeable  position  of 
either  having  to  accept  what  we  have  not  even  been  allowed 
fully  to  understand  (and  which,  so  far  as  Austria  is  con 
cerned,  has  been  negotiated  under  influences,  dictated  by 
motives,  and  in  a  spirit  which  we  are  without  the  means  of 
estimating),  or  to  take  the  responsibility  of  breaking  up  this 
arrangement,  of  losing  the  alliance  which  is  offered  to  us  and 
which  is  so  much  wanted,  and  even  of  estranging  the  friendly 
feelings  of  the  ally  who  advocates  the  arrangement  itself. 

6  Passing  over  all  these  considerations,  I  am  sincerely 
anxious  to  be  at  one  with  Your  Majesty.  All  that  is  required 
to  enable  my  Government  to  do  so,  is:  1st.  That  we  should 
not  be  bound  to  the  letter  of  the  proposal,  of  which  we  have 
had  no  opportunity  of  discussing  the  meaning  or  the  import. 
2nd.  That  Austria  should  agree  to  abide,  under  all  circum 
stances,  by  her  Ultimatum,  and  not  to  bring  us  back  counter 
proposals  from  St.  Petersburg,  which  we,  yourself  and  I, 
should  have  to  accept  or  to  refuse,  whereby  we  should  be 
placed  again  in  the  same  bad  position  we  found  ourselves  in 
last  year. 

'  3rd.   That  the  Neutralisation  Treaty 6  should  be  made  a 

6  That  is,  the  conditions  for  the  neutralisation  of  the  Black  Sea,  on  which 
the  Conferences  at  Vienna  had  broken  down.  This  was  the  most  essential  of 
the  modifications  proposed  by  our  Government  on  the  Austrian  Ultimatum, 
and  it  was  subsequently  adopted  by  both  France  and  Austria. 


400  LETTER  BY  THE   QUEEN  1855 

reality  and  not  something  merely  illusory,  which  it  would 
inevitably  be,  if,  as  proposed,  it  were  left  as  a  separate  treaty 
existing  merely  between  Eussia  and  Turkey. 

< 1  am  convinced  Your  Majesty  will  find  these  demands 
founded  in  reason !  On  your  part,  be  equally  assured,  that 
having  given  my  assent  to  these  conditions,  I  will  not  allow 
them  to  be  neutralised  by  anything  which  you  could  fairly 
designate  as  "  chicanes  equivalentes  a  un  refus"  or  a  desire 
to  fight  for  "  microscopical  advantages."  What  I  ask  for 
is  inspired  by  the  common  interest  which  we  both  have  in  view, 
and  I  can  see  nothing  in  it  to  which  Austria  can  raise  any 
fair  objection. 

'I  cannot,  however,  conceal  from  Your  Majesty  my  fears, 
founded  upon  information  on  which  I  can  rely,  that  the 
language  held  at  Paris,  by  men  in  office  and  others  who  have 
the  honour  to  approach  you,  in  regard  to  the  financial  diffi 
culties  of  France,  and  the  absolute  necessity  of  concluding 
peace,  has  already  produced  a  very  mischievous  effect  at 
Vienna,  at  Berlin,  and  at  St.  Petersburg  ;  and  that  it  is  very 
possible  that  Austria  may  by  this  time  be  disposed  to  draw 
back  from  her  Ultimatum,  and  to  seek  to  obtain  more  favour 
able  terms  for  Russia. 

4 1  now  proceed  to  consider  the  three  courses  mentioned  by 
Your  Majesty  as  open  to  us.  I  am  glad  to  see  that  Your 
Majesty  rejects  the  first,  which,  in  my  opinion,  would  not 
realise  even  what  it  professes  to  attain,  because  Russia  would 
take  care  not  to  "  s'epuiser  en  armements"  if  she  were  sure 
that  the  Western  Powers  would  confine  themselves  to  a  mere 
blockade,  and,  as  we  have  entered  upon  an  aggressive  war, 
we  could  not  now  return  to  a  merely  defensive  one,  without 
owning  at  least  a  moral  defeat. 

'  The  second  course  would  at  all  times  have  been  repelled 
by  me  with  the  same  firmness  with  which  it  is  rejected  by  Your 
Majesty,  and  for  the  same  reasons  and  the  same  considerations. 


1 85 5         TO    THE  EMPEROR   OF  THE  FRENCH.  401 

'  The  third,  to  which  Your  Majesty  gives  the  preference, 
has  also  my  unqualified  approval,  but  I  do  not  disguise  from 
myself  the  uncertainty  of  its  chances  of  success,  as  this  is 
dependent  on  the  decision  of  other  Powers,  who  may  have 
other  notions  of  their  own  interest,  and  who  have  hitherto 
done  little  to  inspire  us  with  any  confidence.  Be  this  as  it 
may,  I  promise  Your  Majesty  to  do  my  utmost  to  make  this 
course  succeed,  and  I  agree  fully  with  you,  that  all  minor 
considerations  should  be  dropped  in  order  to  arrive  at  the 
greater  result. 

'  I  will  say  nothing  here  of  the  plans  of  military  opera 
tion,  as  I  consider  them  to  be  dependent  on  the  policy  agreed 
upon.  This  policy  having  been  settled  exclusively  by  the 
two  Grovernments,  the  Grenerals,  after  a  Council,  of  which  I 
highly  approve  the  idea  as  suggested  by  Your  Majesty,  should 
be  entrusted  with  the  consideration  of  the  plans  of  the  cam 
paign  to  carry  out  the  policy  determined  upon. 

4  I  am  convinced  that  every  difficulty,  every  divergence  of 
opinion,  which  may  arise  on  these  weighty  matters,  will  be 
more  promptly  and  more  effectually  dispelled  by  a  frank 
exchange  of  ideas  between  Your  Majesty  and  myself,  than  by 
any  other  mode  of  communication,  and  I  therefore  beg  you 
will  continue  towards  me  those  unreserved  utterances  (epanche- 
nwnts),  to  which  I  hope  you  will  find  that  my  letter  re 
sponds  with  a  sincere  and  genuine  confidence.  The  Prince 
feels  more  and  more  the  flattering  opinion  you  have  been 
pleased  to  express  with  respect  to  his  views  and  judgment. 
No  one,  I  atn  happy  to  say,  is  more  keenly  anxious  than  he 
for  the  success  of  the  ideas  which  I  hold  in  common  with 
yourself,  or  supports  more  resolutely  whatever  can  conduce  to 
their  fulfilment. 

6 1  would  have  wished,  had  time  allowed,  to  abridge  this 
letter,  the  extreme  length  of  which  is,  however,  justified  by 

VOL.  III.  D  D 


402  GOOD  EFFECT  OF  QUEEN'S  LETTER.  1855 

the  gravity  of  the  circumstances  and  the  importance   of  the 
questions  at  issue. 

4  Accept,  Sire,  the  expression  of  sincere  friendship  and  of 
high  esteem,  with  which  I  am,  Sire  and  dear  Brother, 
'  Your  Majesty's  very  affectionate 

'  Sister  and  friend, 

*  VICTORIA.'  7 

The  Emperor  of  the  French  was  much  gratified  by  this 
letter.  He  frankly  admitted  our  right  to  take  exception  to 
the  way  the  terms  of  the  Ultimatum  had  been  settled  without 
previous  consultation  with  the  English  Government,  as  well  as 
the  importance  of  some  of  the  modifications  we  had  suggested, 
and  which  had  been  represented  to  him  as  insignificant  and 
of  '  microscopical '  value.  The  information,  hinted  at  in  the 
letter,  and  more  fully  brought  to  his  notice  by  our  Ambas 
sador  at  Paris,  as  to  the  efforts  which  were  everywhere  being 
made  to  have  it  supposed  that  France  was  ready  for  peace 
on  any  terms,  caused  him  the  deepest  annoyance,  and  he 
took  means  to  let  it  be  known,  that,  however  this  note 
might  be  sounded  for  the  purposes  of  the  Bourse,  he  would 
be  no  party  to  a  peace  of  which  England  did  not  approve. 
If  the  war  had  to  be  carried  on,  France  would  not  be  found 
backward.  '  Be  assured,'  were  his  words  to  Lord  Cowley  (25th 
of  November),  'whatever  I  think  right,  I  will  do,  and  I  shall 
not  be  afraid  of  making  my  conduct  understood  in  France.' 
Not  for  the  first  time,  he  found  his  best  advice  had  come 
from  England.  In  the  same  conversation  he  said,  that  all  he 
begged  was  that  the  truth  might  be  told  him,  and  we  should 
find  him  as  ready  to  do  what  he  could  to  smooth  away 
our  difficulties  as  we  were  to  smooth  away  his. 

7  The  original  of  this  letter,  and  of  that  to  which  it  is  an  answer,  will  be 
ound  in  the  Appendix. 


403 


CHAPTER   LXIX. 

ON  the  30th  of  November  the  King  of  Sardinia  arrived  in 
London  on  a  visit  to  the  Queen.  He  was  met  by  the  Prince 
at  the  railway  station,  and  in  passing  through  London  on  his 
way  to  Windsor  Castle  was  received  with  a  cordiality,  which, 
if  not  so  demonstrative  as  that  with  which  the  Emperor  and 
Empress  of  the  French  had  been  greeted,  was  sufficient  to 
show  how  warmly  the  English  people  appreciated  the  gallant 
spirit  in  which  he  had  thrown  himself  into  the  struggle 
against  Russia.  The  visit  was  a  short  one,  but  the  mass  of 
things  to  be  seen  and  done  imposed  no  small  amount  of 
fatigue  upon  the  Queen  and  Prince. 

Next  day  they  accompanied  him  to  the  Arsenal,  at  Wool 
wich,  and  the  scale  of  the  operations  there  must  have  con 
vinced  His  Majesty,  that  it  would  be  from  no  lack  of  the 
materials  of  deadly  warfare,  if  his  English  Allies  were  now  to 
consent  to  a  cessation  of  hostilities,  and  that  they  were  not 
likely  to  give  such  a  consent,  except  in  exchange  for  satis 
factory  terms  of  peace.  The  hospitals  were  also  visited,  kind 
words  were  exchanged  with  the  sufferers  there,  and  a  series 
of  manosuvres  by  the  Artillery  on  the  Common  gave  actual 
proof  of  our  pre-eminence  in  that  arm,  of  which  the  Royal 
soldier  had  often  heard.  The  following  day  (Sunday)  was 
spent  by  the  King  in  London  ;  but  by  daybreak  the  next  morn 
ing  His  Majesty  was  on  his  way  to  Portsmouth,  accompanied 
by  Prince  Albert.  The  dockyard  and  factories  there  were 

D   D   2 


404  VISIT  OF  THE  KING   OF  SARDINIA.  1855 

thoroughly  examined,  and  a  visit  was  made  in  the  Fairy  to 
inspect  a  portion  of  the  Fleet  at  Spithead,  consisting  of  eight 
ships  of  the  line  and  eight  frigates.  On  the  4th  the  King 
went  to  London,  and  after  receiving  the  Corps  diplomatique 
at  Buckingham  Palace,  proceeded  in  state  to  the  City,  where 
about  2,000  guests  had  assembled  at  the  GKuldhall  to  witness 
the  ceremonial  of  presenting  an  address  by  the  Corporation. 
The  King  had  been  welcomed  by  great  numbers  on  his  way 
to  the  City,  although  the  day  was  cold,  dark,  and  wet ; 
but  the  scene,  as  he  entered  the  hall,  and  the  crowds  as 
sembled  there  rose  in  a  body  and  received  him  with  pro 
longed  cheers,  was  especially  gratifying  and  impressive.  It 
was  one  which  was  to  be  witnessed  only  in  England,  among  a 
people  sure  of  its  own  liberties,  and  predisposed  in  favour  of 
a  Sovereign  who  had  proved  himself  true  to  the  principles 
of  constitutional  monarchy.  Count  Cavour  was  in  attendance 
upon  the  King,  and  the  reply  to  the  Address  was  such  as 
might  have  been  expected  from  the  pen  of  a  statesman  so 
liberal,  so  far-seeing,  and  so  accomplished.  Both  address 
and  reply  were  useful  at  the  time,  from  the  resolute  tone 
with  which  they  declared  that  the  Allies  would  not  lay  down 
their  arms  until  an  honourable  and  durable  peace  had  been 
secured.  On  his  return  from  the  City  the  Prince  was  enabled 
to  give  the  King  the  welcome  assurance  that  France  had 
adopted  our  modifications  of  the  proposed  Austrian  Ulti 
matum,  and  that  all  diplomatic  difficulty  on  this  ground  was 
now  at  an  end. 

The  next  day  His  Majesty  was  invested  by  the  Queen 
with  the  Order  of  the  Garter,  and  a  great  banquet  in  the 
evening  brought  his  brief  but  busy  visit  to  a  close.  He 
was  to  leave  Windsor  Castle  next  morning  at  five  o'clock. 
Even  before  this  hour  the  Queen  was  present  to  take  leave 
of  the  Royal  guest.  The  morning  was  bitterly  cold,  and 
heavy  snow  was  falling,  as  he  left  the  Castle  for  Folkestone, 


1855  PRINCE  GIVES  COLOURS  TO  GERMAN  LEGION.  405 

accompanied  by  the  Prince,  the  Duke  of  Cambridge,  and 
Prince  Edward  of  Saxe  Weimar.  After  seeing  the  King  de 
part  for  Boulogne  at  nine  o'clock,  the  Prince  returned  to  the 
hotel,  where  he  met  the  Duke  of  Newcastle,  who  had  just 
landed  from  the  packet  on  his  way  back  from  the  East.  The 
meeting  was  a  pleasant  surprise,  and  the  details  as  to  the  state 
of  affairs  in  Asia  Minor  and  the  Crimea,  which  the  Prince  was 
able  to  gather  from  him  in  their  brief  interview,  made  even 
the  fatigue  and  cold  of  that  bitter  morning  for  the  time 
forgotten.  There  was  still  work  to  be  done  before  the  Prince 
could  return  to  town.  Colours  were  to  be  presented  at  Shorn- 
cliffe  to  two  of  the  regiments  of  the  Royal  German  Legion, 
who  were  on  the  point  of  embarking  for  the  Crimea. 

The  Prince,  on  horseback  and  escorted  by  a  troop  of 
the  German  light  cavalry,  reached  the  ground  about  eleven 
o'clock.  Despite  the  inclemency  of  the  weather,  a  large 
number  of  visitors — many  of  them  ladies — had  assembled. 
The  steadiness  and  precision  with  which  the  regiments 
went  through  the  movements  common  on  such  occasions 
promised  well  for  their  efficiency  in  the  field.  To  the 
Prince  the  ceremony  was  especially  interesting  both  as  a 
German,  and  as  having  been  himself  the  first  to  suggest  the 
raising  of  this  foreign  auxiliary  force.  They,  on  the  other 
hand,  no  doubt,  attached  a  double  value  to  the  few  admir 
ably  chosen  words  of  the  Prince's  speech  in  presenting  the 
colours  by  reason  of  their  being  addressed  to  them  in  their 
own  language  by  one  whom  Germans  had  long  since  learned 
to  honour. 

1 1  am  heartily  glad,'  said  the  Prince,  'at  being  able  to  deliver 
these  colours  to  you  in  person,  as  this  gives  me  an  opportunity 
of  expressing  to  you,  how  •warmly  the  Queen  recognises  the 
readiness  with  which  you  have  responded  to  her  call,  and  enrolled 
yourselves  in  her  army. 

'  I  am  fully  convinced  that  you  will,  under  all  circumstances, 


4o6  ,  NEGOTIATIONS  IN  REFERENCE   TO  1855 

uphold  the  honour  of  a  flag,  which  until  now  has  been  vic 
torious  in  every  quarter  of  the  globe  in  the  battle  for  Justice, 
Order,  Freedom,  and  the  spread  of  Civilisation. 

'  May  the  Almighty  accompany  you  with  His  protecting  grace 
in  all  the  toils  and  dangers  which  you  have  \aliantly  resolved  to 
share  with  the  brave  English  army  !  They  will,  I  feel  sure, 
welcome  you  as  brothers.' 

After  lunching  with  the  officers,  the  Prince  returned  to 
Windsor  Castle,  which  he  reached  about  five  o'clock,  and 
where  a  few  quiet  days,  after  the  fatigues  of  the  preceding 
week,  were  peculiarly  welcome. 

The  agencies  at  work  in  Russian  interests  at  Paris  had  such 
ready  means  of  access  to  some  of  the  leading  officials  there, 
that  the  fact  of  Austria's  intention  to  submit  an  Ulti 
matum  to  the  Czar,  which  had  received  the  sanction  of  the 
Allied  Powers,  was  not  likely  to  be  any  secret  at  St.  Peters 
burg.  Russia  wanted  peace,  because  she  kne